Govt to drain two illegal dams in Patel farm - Daily Nation

Engineers to drain two illegal dams in Patel farm

Friday May 11 2018

patel dam, Solai

An Ariel view of the damage Energy village in Solai, Nakuru County, suffered after Patel Dam collapsed killing more than 44 people on May 10, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Government engineers are on Friday set to drain two water reservoirs next to Patel Dam that burst on Wednesday killing 44 people in Solai, Nakuru County.

Water Resources Management Authority (Warma) said experts will pump water from the two dams to avoid another disaster.

One of those two dams is full and was leaking on Thursday evening, raising fears that it may also burst.

Patel Dam is one of three water reservoirs owned by prominent largescale farmer Patel Mansukul.

Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mongo Chimwaga and Warma boss Simon Wang’ombe said the exercise will be overseen by engineers from the national and Nakuru County governments.

“A technical team of engineers did an inspection of the dams on Thursday evening and handed over a report to the authorities. Action will be conducted today [Friday],”said Mr Chimwaga.

On Thursday it emerged that none of the dams had been licensed.

Warma said they were unsuccessful in getting Patel Coffee Estates Limited to legalise the dams constructed on its 4,000 acres of land.

Mr Wangombe said the law requires that any private dam going beyond 5m high needs to be regularised by Warma.

"For the last one year, we have been trying to engage the company on how to legalise the dams on its farm but they have been reluctant. As far as we are concerned, the dams are illegal," said Mr Wangombe.

The declaration that the dams had not been legalised left many questions unanswered, including why the authorities did not act to avert the disaster.