Tragic Dam Collapse Claims Dozens in Western Kenya Flooding

kenya flooding dam collaps
Kenya Flooding: In western Kenya, a dam collapsed early Monday, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 40 lives. The incident occurred in the Mai Mahiu area of the Great Rift Valley, known for its susceptibility to sudden floods.

The dam, known as the Old Kijabe Dam, gave way under the pressure of heavy rains, unleashing a torrent of water that swept through homes and blocked a major road.

According to police official Stephen Kirui, the collapsing dam released a deluge downstream, carrying debris such as mud, rocks, and uprooted trees. The aftermath left vehicles entangled in the rubble, while paramedics worked to assist the injured in submerged areas.

Kenya has been grappling with extensive flooding, claiming nearly 100 lives and delaying school openings. Since mid-March, persistent heavy rains have pounded the nation, prompting warnings from the Meteorology Department of further downpours.

In response to the disaster, Kenya’s Interior Minister, Kithure Kindiki, mandated a comprehensive inspection of all public and private dams and reservoirs within 24 hours, starting Monday afternoon. This measure aims to prevent future incidents, with recommendations for evacuations and resettlement to follow the inspections.

The Kenya National Highways Authority issued a cautionary alert advising motorists to expect heavy traffic and road blockages due to debris.

Beyond Kenya, the wider East African region has been similarly affected by flooding. In Tanzania, 155 fatalities have been reported, while over 200,000 individuals have been impacted in neighboring Burundi.

Adding to the tragedy, a boat capsized in Kenya’s northern Garissa county on Sunday night. The Kenyan Red Cross reported rescuing 23 people, but several individuals remain missing.

In another consequence of the flooding, Kenya’s main airport experienced inundation on Saturday, leading to flight diversions. Images and videos circulated online depicting flooded runways, terminals, and cargo sections.

The floods have affected over 200,000 people across Kenya, with homes in flood-prone areas submerged and residents seeking refuge in schools.

President William Ruto has directed the National Youth Service to allocate land for temporary camps to accommodate those displaced by the floods.

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