Damned dams: State blamed for Solai tragedy - Daily Nation
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Report blames state negligence for Solai dam tragedy

Saturday July 7 2018

patel dam, Solai

An Ariel view of Energy village in Solai, Nakuru County. The village suffered after Patel Dam collapsed killing 47 people on May 9, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER MBURU
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Government officials’ negligence and carelessness of farm managers as well as the pervading fear of the politically-connected Patel farm owners are to blame for the 47 deaths that occurred in Solai, Nakuru in May, a human rights report has revealed.

After three weeks of research, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Freedom of Information Network and Mid Rift Human Rights network released a fact-finding report on the Patel Dam tragedy on June 29.

The report titled, Damned Dams: Exposing Corporate and State Impunity in the Solai Tragedy, blames government agencies tasked with managing water resources and the environment and farm’s management for the tragedy that killed innocent residents.

RIVER DIVERSION

The report revealed the residents have been complaining about the farm since 1980s when they protested over the blocking of two rivers and streams by the farm owners but action was only taken after the May disaster in bid to cover up the mess.

Following the bursting of the dam in May, 47 people died, 41 were injured while 223 households lost their homes and almost 5,000 people were displaced.