Dam Bursts In Kenya Causing 'Huge Destruction', Deaths, Says Official

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The paper reported that the dam burst left over 500 families left homeless and affected around 2,500 residents. "The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained", said Lee Kinyajui, governor of Nakuru county.

The breach happened in the town of Solai, which is approximately 120 miles northwest of the capital of Nairobi, late on Wednesday.

He said the incident occurred on Wednesday evening, causing extensive damage to homes, schools and businesses.

"The water [from the dam burst] has caused huge destruction of both life and property".

The flooding is the worst in Kenya since 2012, said Marshal Mukuvare, the regional disaster management delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Since March, at least 21,000 acres (8,500 hectares) of farmland have been submerged in water with an estimated 20,000 animals killed, the Red Cross said last week. Local reports identified the failed structure as a privately owned earthen dam on a large farm.

He said 36 people had been hospitalised.

Even before this week's dam-burst, rains had killed 132 people and displaced 222,000 in Kenya alone, according to the government.

Among villages affected are those in the farmlands of Nyakinyua, Endao, and Arutani where hundreds of people were displaced.

As the rains worsen, the need for humanitarian assistance to victims becomes more pressing.

Weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides countrywide. Caught between different extremes, millions of Kenyans are in dire straits.

Security services have deployed choppers in areas where roads have been rendered impassible to rescue marooned civilian populations.

A young woman walks in floodwaters after a heavy rainy season downpour at the Dadaab refugee complex, in the north-east of Kenya, on April 17, 2018.

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