Dam owner pledges help for victims
Patel family says it will help rebuild the lives of the community affected by tragedy
Uhuru has announced the government will support the affected families
The owner of Solai dam, which caused the death of 47 people after its walls collapsed, has pledged to support the community that was affected by the tragedy.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Patel family condoled with the bereaved families and promised to support them to rebuild their lives.
Solai Group Chairman Mansukh Patel said the family continues to address immediate humanitarian concerns, providing food, clean drinking water, healthcare and basic household essentials to survivors as investigations into the cause of the tragedy continue.
This comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government will continue supporting the families and other flood victims in the country to rebuild their lives.
President Kenyatta made the announcement on Wednesday during a prayer service at the Solai Africa Inland Church grounds, when he led the nation in mourning the victims.
The Patel family yesterday expressed commitment to work together with the national and county authorities to rebuild what has been lost. “We appreciate the President’s encouragement and the grace with which the government and NGOS have handled the situation,” read the statement, issued through Ms Lena Gatabaki.
According to the statement, heavy rains that have been pounding the area were to blame for the bursting of the dam’s banks.
“In recent weeks, our community has been affected by this tragedy. We can’t change the tragic loss but, together, we can ease the pain and prevent further loss. Children are greatly affected, so are the families who have been left behind to deal with the tragedy,” it read.
“The Patel family offers their deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the Solai community, and to all the families and friends of those who died,” it added.
The family said it has adopted a multipronged approach of rescue, relief and rehabilitation.
“We will help clear funeral and medical expenses. Our next step is to develop a sustainable rehabilitation system for the community in which we intend to rebuild all the destroyed houses within a month, provide basic household needs and restart farm operations since most of those affected are farm workers,” the statement
The family made the announcement as the affected families continued picking up the pieces. About 5,000 families, who were left homeless and are camping at Solai Boys’ High School, continued to receive donations yesterday.
Safaricom also came to the aid of the victims after it announced that it will fund the construction of Solai Nyakinyua Primary School, which was swept away by raging waters.
Safaricom’s Rift Valley Head of Department Victor Ngumo said: “We will construct classrooms, an ablution block, buy furniture, among other things, to help learners resume studies.”
Relatives and friends of the Patel dam tragedy victims mourn during a burial service in Solai, Nakuru County, on Wednesday.