Thursday, December 12, 2019
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Act on a leaking dam in Nakuru, says MP

Njoro Member of Parliament Charity Kathambi Chepkwony has called on the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to act swiftly over a leaking dam in the area.

Chepkwony said she had met members of the County Security Committee over the issue noting that the leak from the dam owned by Sojanmi Springfields was causing massive destruction to homes and farms within Muchorwe Village in Njoro.

On 24th, June this year, the High Court in Nakuru revoked license to the dam following a petition by three land owners and directed that Sojanmi Spring fields which runs flower farms to seek a fresh license or decommission the leaking facility.

The Court directed that NEMA   undertakes integrity tests on the dam and provide guidance to Sojanmi Springfields before it resumes operations.

Chepkwony said the leaking dam was a disaster in waiting and revealed that the County Security committee will tour the flower farm and seek audience with the proprietors.

Towards pre-emptying a disaster, the legislator appealed to the flower firm’s management to drain the facility.

Efforts to get comments from the management of Sojanmi Springfields on the state of compliance with the orders were futile as nobody was allowed access into the firm’s premises.

The MP stated that although prevailing heavy rains aggravated the situation, there was clear evidence that the dam’s earth wall had started failing much earlier.

She said no attempt has been made to rectify the situation, especially during intervals of dry weather.

NEMA officers have also been directed to visit the dam site and find out whether materials used during construction were suitable.

Last year, 48 people were confirmed dead at Energy village and Nyakinyua farm after a dam burst its banks in Solai within Nakuru.

The unprecedented calamity also left three churches (PCEA Solai, Full Gospel, and Good Shepherd), and two schools flattened and uprooted electric polls cutting power in the area and hampering initial evacuation.

A multi-agency report released by the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government has revealed that the location of Patel Dam contributed highly to the tragedy that left tens of people dead.

The report released by the ministry Monday revealed that the affected people were badly exposed to the danger of the dam bursting.

“Even with proper design and maintenance, and approval by statutory authorities, natural calamities are likely to occur in future thereby endangering the safety of the whole Solai community,” the report said.

Meanwhile, residents of Njoro interviewed by KNA said the controversial dam started leaking way back in 2014.

By Anne Mwale

 

 

 

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