Residents of Rotian area in Narok North Sub County are a crying foul after a private dam constructed by their local chief broke its banks and destroyed property worth hundreds of thousands last night.
The residents say Chief John Ole Taga dug the water dam against their will and despite having been warned by the village elders, he put a deaf ear and allowed the water dam to remain on the hilly ground.
Led by Johnson Ole Saiyaton, the residents said they have incurred heavy losses as the dam water often overflowed sweeping through their shambas and destroying their houses making them to incur losses amounting to thousands of shillings.
“We are lucky to be alive because after the heavy downpour last night, my house was submerged in the middle of the water. We started screaming then our neighbours came to rescue us,” said Ole Saiyaton.
Ole Saiyaton asked the government to intervene to close the dam and reconstruct it in another place saying it was posing an environmental hazard.
“We have visited the chief’s homestead with village elders requesting him to close the dam as it is built in a dangerous place but he has never listened to us. Instead he is very arrogant and very demeaning,” lamented Ole Saiyaton.
Fredrick Ole Sankok, a village elder said they heard screams and wailing from the family of Ole Saiyaton in the middle of the night and when they arrived, they found their house was submerged in water.
“We narrowly rescued all the family members who were in the house from being washed away. However, we were not able to save most of the goods in the house and we helplessly watched as they were destroyed by the water,” said Ole Sankok.
However, when contacted for comments, Chief Ole Taga dismissed claims that he was arrogant saying he would be consulting with the locals to chart a way forward as the dam was not only benefiting his family but the whole community.
“I have personally spent a lot of money to construct this dam that is of use to the locals here during the dry season. I will be engaging them to find a lasting solution,” said Ole Taga.
By Ann Salaton