In Summary
  • The Solai dam tragedy that occurred in May 9, 2018, killed 48 people.
  • The survivors, who lost their livelihoods in the tragedy, have been included in the initiative meant to cushion the poor against Covid-19.

At least 400 Solai dam tragedy survivors, are among the beneficiaries of Nakuru County's Sh205 million food initiative for vulnerable families.

The County Assembly had previously allocated Sh205 million to be used to purchase food for vulnerable families.

Kabazi Member of County Assembly Dr Peter Mbae had revealed that the survivors, who lost their livelihoods in the tragedy, have been included in the initiative meant to cushion the poor as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic.

"Before the dam tragedy, the soil in the area was very fertile and residents planted various crops including maize, beans, peas,vegetables and other crops, but currently the soil is rocky and unfertile, they cannot farm anymore, unless the fertile top soil that was swept away in the wake of the tragedy is restored. They therefore needed government help in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic," Dr Mbae told the Nation.

Each of the 55 Wards in Nakuru will receive Sh3.7 million. An additional Sh1.5 million was allocated to 30 vulnerable wards.

In April, the Assembly appointed a committee to oversee the management of a total of Sh478 million set aside in a supplementary budget for various uses including, cushioning the residents against the effects of Covid-19.

The committee will comprise House Speaker Joel Kairu Maina, Leader of Majority Moses Ndung’u Kamau, Leader of Minority Peter Palanga and the chairperson of Budget and Appropriation Committee Joel Karuri Maina as ex-official members.

The rest of the committee members include Simon Mwangi (Rongai), George Kiere (Njoro), Kamau Githengi (Nakuru Town West), Mary Waiganjo (Subukia), and Michael Machembu (Bahati).

Others are Kariuki Mugi (Gilgil), Njuguna Mwaura (Molo), Karanja Mburu (Naivasha), Cyrus Mitei (Kuresoi North), Rose Chepkoech (Kuresoi South), Eddy Kiragu (Nakuru Town East).

The Solai dam tragedy that occurred in May 9, 2018, killed 48 people.

The private Solai dam, located inside a farm owned and managed by Perry Mansukh Kansagara and Vinoj Jaya Kumar, burst its banks on the night of May 9, 2018, washing away surrounding villages of Energy, Nyakinyua, Endao, Milmet and Arutani.

The flood waters and tumbling debris hit Energy village at high speed, washing away homes, cars and huge rocks towards the other villages downstream in pith darkness.

Besides the deaths, the tragedy left at least 5,000 people displaced after its water flattened the sleepy Energy and Nyankinyua villages.

Life has moved on for everyone, but the survivors still have scars of the tragedy.

Two years, after the tragedy that shocked the country, exposed huge rocks, half-standing buildings and gullies dominate what was once a carpet of fertile top soil where locals practised farming.

The landscape in the area still bears scars of destruction.

All the productive soil along a stretch of at least 15 kilometres was swept away.

The Kenya Red Cross and a local church constructed 37 permanent and semi-permanent houses for the survivors that included landlords who either rented or occupied their houses, tenants and business people whose premises were destroyed.

The houses, built at a cost Sh40 million, were completed and handed over last year.

Kenya Red Cross partnered with Nakuru County to help survivors rebuild their lives.

Nevertheless, the infrastructural damage left behind by the tragedy is glaringly visible and yet to fade away.