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Solai villagers come to terms with events of tragic night

Rescuers clear debris left behind in the wake of the Solai tragedy on Wednesday 9, 2018. Photo by KNA.
A mangled wreck of a motor vehicle detailing the full impact of the Solai dam burst on Wednesday night. Photo by KNA.

Residents of Solai in Nakuru County are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy that  befell  them  on  Wednesday night leaving scores of people dead, others still missing and massive destruction.

Those  who spoke to the press described the dam tragedy as a scene reminiscent of a horror movie, whose depths and magnitude is too tragic to comprehend.

At least 38 bodies have so far been recovered and with many families still unaccounted for, there are fears that the figure could rise.

The raging flooding from the Solai Patel dam waters  which overflew after its waters burst its seams swept everything in its path, bringing down permanent buildings, walls and trees with the angry velocity.

Residents remained hurdled in small groups as they spoke about the incident, too shaken to even move away from the scene.

The scale of destruction could count into millions of shillings, a humanitarian crisis slowly building up as the government and relief agencies appealed for food aid, clothing and shelter for the affected families.

The nearby Solai Boys Secondary School was not spared as Education PS, Dr. Belio Kipsang ordered its indefinite closure following the destruction of critical infrastructure at the institution.

A few students received minor bruises as they scampered for safety during the early evening scare.

Residents spoke of a night spent scampering for safety, staring at death in the face.

According to those who were lucky to escape the water’s wrath, many of them saved their lives by climbing onto trees, not even sure that they were safe from the raging waters.

A man who was returning home after a hard day’s at work narrated how he spent the night in his vehicle after his vehicle was swept off the road by the raging waters.

He was however, lucky to survive after his vehicle was stalled by huge boulders that had been uprooted by the water.

Residents told the press that an unknown number of people who were taking their usual drink at a changáa den could not be accounted for, raising fears that they could be among the dead.

The worst hit villages were identified as Energy which was completely flattened, Nyandarua and Nyakinyua Solai primary school.

Rescue operations are still ongoing with Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’í leading the multi agency rescue operations.

By  Jane Ngugi

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