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Gov’t directs urgent dam inspections amidst ongoing flood crisis

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki

All County Security and Intelligence Committees (CSICs) across the country have been directed to inspect all public and private dams and water reservoirs within their jurisdictions within 24 hours.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki issued the directive, effective from 2:00 PM Monday, urging the CSICs to recommend cases where compulsory evacuation and temporary resettlement orders should be issued.

Additionally, the committees were instructed to deploy enforcement teams to urban and rural road spots prone to stormwater flooding, especially those without bridges or where bridges have been breached, to prevent motorists or pedestrians from attempting dangerous crossovers.

Offenders are to be arrested and prosecuted for attempted suicide or attempted murder as warranted by the circumstances.

To prevent the transportation of passengers across flooded rivers or stormwater by unsafe canoes or boats, the CSICs have been authorized to arrest inexperienced and unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of the situation to exploit those in distress.

Kindiki concluded by stating that the government is coordinating all relevant agencies and partners to prevent further loss of lives and property and to provide support to all those affected by the ongoing torrential rains.

This statement follows shortly after 42 people were confirmed dead in Kamuchiri Village, Mai Mahiu, Nakuru County, due to heavy flash floods.

Naivasha OCPD Stephen Kirui reported that 17 children were among the deceased.

Concerns remain high about the possibility of a significantly higher death toll as dozens are still unaccounted for following the incident that occurred at 4 am, catching many unaware.

The disaster unfolded when a seasonal dam burst its banks, sweeping away people and homes.

Consequently, sections of the Mai Mahiu-Suswa/Narok highway and the Mai Mahiu-Naivasha Road have been closed.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and county officials are currently clearing the debris.

Teams from the Kenya Police, County Disaster team, Kenya Red Cross, and community members are present at the scene.

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