Residents of Mbitini in Makueni were forced to flee for safety on Monday, December 2, after Kithembeoni Dam burst its banks following weeks of heavy rain.
According to eyewitness reports, the raging floods swept away all in its path, including trees and houses that border the reservoir, leaving a host of families homeless.
The dam's walls are said to have caved in due to the high volumes of water following heavy rains that have been pounding the area for several weeks.
The latest disaster triggered memories of the Solai Dam tragedy of May 9, 2018, where over 190 million litres of water ran through settlements.
In its wake, gruesome deaths, horrible injuries (physical, mental and emotional), massive destruction of property and unprecedented displacement of people, were all reported.
Still, in Makueni, at least three residents - Muinde Kasuu, Mutei Kiambi, and Mutuku Tila, are reportedly trapped on a rock after the torrential downpour marooned them at the Yikivuthi ‘island’.
Speaking to the media, Makueni County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim, disclosed that10 people had died as a result of the extreme weather, with most of the victims losing their lives after attempting to wade through the floods
Mudslides were also reported in Kola, Machakos following overnight rains on December 1, with the Kenya Red Crossing confirming that they had sent emergency response teams to the area.
On Sunday, December 1, River Voi burst its banks and marooned 4 villages where over 500 residents were forced to flee to safety and seek temporary shelter.
The burst dam has again raised concerns about the state of Kenya’s infrastructure. The National Construction Authority in the past has blamed contractors for bypassing building codes to save on cost.
According to theHortfresh Journal, July-August 2018 Edition, the main causes of dam failure include extreme rain volumes, design error, geological instability caused by changes in water levels during filling or poor surveying, poor maintenance, especially of the outlet.
Here's the horrific footage of Kithembeoni dam bursting its banks:
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