Where's my wife, children? Asks Patel Dam tragedy survivor

Thursday May 10 2018

By MAGDALENE WANJA
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Survivors of the Patel Dam tragedy that left more than 32 people dead have opened up on the horror that befell them as they prepared to sleep.

On the fateful Wednesday night, Pius Mzee was chatting with his wife and four children after supper when raging waters stormed into his house.

He said he tried running away with his two daughters, aged four and six, but was overpowered by the racing waters outside.

Mzee resigned to fate when he was hit by huge rocks and boulders that were being rolled by the fast-running waters.

"My wife was with two children and immediately it happened, I could not trace them. Up to now, I do not know where they are," he told the Nation from his hospital bed at Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

solai tragedy

A nurse attends to Pius Mzee (left) and other survivors of Solai dam tragedy at Nakuru Level Five Hospital. PHOTO | MAGDALENE WANJA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

After losing control of the children, he said, the heavy water waves pushed him towards the lower side of his farm.

He grappled in the dark and luckily, he clutched on a tree and climbed it to save his life.

James Njung'e, who is recuperating at the hospital's Ward 10, was equally caught unawares by the raging waters.

He said he was in their house with his two parents and niece when the disaster struck.

James Njung'e

James Njung'e at Nakuru Level Five Hospital. The whereabouts of his parents and niece are unknown. PHOTO | MAGDALENE WANJA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

They were having an evening chat when they heard a rumbling sound from the upper end of their estate and they thought it was about to rain.

"Within a short time, the water had made its way in the house and broke the door and we were all swept away," he said.

For 25-year-old George Wanjala, it was a normal evening with his young family.

George Wanjala

George Wanjala recuperates at Nakuru Level Five Hospital. The father of three says he has no idea on the whereabouts of his wife and children.

The father of three said he heard a bang but before he could find out what was going on, the water was already filling his house.

Wanjala who could not hold back his tears said he could not save any of his children, including a two-month-old baby.

Valentine Mursoi

Valentine Mursoi was at her butchery business when the disaster struck. PHOTO | MAGDALENE WANJA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

According to the nurse in charge of the ward, Florence Ngoya, he suffered soft tissue injuries and is in a stable condition.

Three of the survivors are set to undergo surgery at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

The three suffered multiple fractures, according to hospital Medical Superintendent Joseph Mburu.

Some 13 survivors were treated and discharged on Thursday morning.