Solai tragedy-picking up the pieces,families speak

Effects of the collapse of Patel dam  in Solai Nakuru county  have left hundreds of survivors devastated.

Following closure of the Solai Boys high school camp, those who had sought refuge in the camp moved to rental houses in Solai Township and neighboring Kamukunji and Bahati trading centres.

The bigger numbers consists of those who were given a consolation fee of Sh 30,000 to keep them going as the government makes plans to assist the victims rebuild their lives.

To many of the victims who are now trying to pick up pieces, the consolation fee is just a drop of water in the ocean.

Two of the families that we visited in Solai Nyakinyua farm have already exhausted the cash.

They only managed to pay three months rent, buy some utensils and cater for simple school needs for their children.

And although they were given bedding, foodstuff and clothing most of them have expressed fear that the will take some time to return to normalcy especially those who used to work inside Patel Farm.

Teresiah Njeri who is yet to bury the body of her eight year old child due to a dispute says that life has changed completely because she used to live in her own house.

She says having been used to living in a four bedroom house and cultivating a three quarters acre piece of land is a complete turn over from the current situation of living in a single room house.

“Having to wait for DNA results in order to bury my child has occasioned me mental torture.

Njeri used to earn Sh 270 daily.

She says that having lost her husband in the tragedy, she has to re organize herself as she has to work hard in order to make ends meet.

Jane Wambui lost her two children among them a daughter who left behind five children all of whom depend on her now.

The casual labourer said that she was given Shs 30,000 and as at now she has only Sh 1000 left.

The money according to the government was to keep the families going for three months.

While calling on the government to hasten the process of reconstructing their houses, Wambui says that despite great efforts from the government, the Patel Family and well wishers, it will be difficult for them to “stand again on their feet” as they used to before.

They only hang on to faith hoping that the future will be bright for them at some stage.



PHOTO/CGTN Africa: Effects of the collapse of Patel dam  in Solai Nakuru county  have left hundreds of survivors devastated.

Martin Gichinga
Author: Martin Gichinga

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