Kenyan police ordered to investigate burst Patel dam

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A dam on a Kenyan commercial farm that burst this week, killing at least 44 people, did not have the required permits, the Water Resources Management Authority, which regulates private dams, said on Friday.

Earlier Nakuru county governor Lee Kinyanjui said around 40 people were still reported missing and that at least one other local dam had "to be discharged to avoid disaster".

By the end of the day yesterday, there were still 40 people unaccounted for, with the government saying efforts were being made to locate them.

"I hereby direct that investigations be conducted and a file of the investigation report forwarded to the DPP office in 14 days, for perusal and appropriate action", he said in a statement.

The government started emptying two other dams at the Patel farm - Marigu and Milmet - after it emerged that their earthen walls were too weak to hold water.

Villagers had complained when the dams were built, accusing the farm-owner of depriving them of access to river water, the paper reported. "The dam wall cracked and the water escaped", said Kumar.

On Thursday, the department said the rains would continue for the next one month and would be heavy especially in Central, Rift Valley and at the Coast.

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Former area MP Koigi Wa Wamwere, reminiscing a time he bumped into Patel, said the manager once told him off in his face that he wouldn't share the waters of the seven dams. The water swept people 10 km downhill. "It is a carefully managed and monitored process", Mongo said.

The village hosted about 60 homesteads on plots measuring an eighth of an acre each, and was home to hundreds of casual labourers who earn a living from the coffee estate irrigated by the dam, the flower farms that dot Solai, and other plantations.

Police say the move was necessary after locals raised fears that a similar tragic incident may happen again. The farm has existed for nearly 60 years and the dam which collapsed has been there for nearly 20 years.

"I share my deepest condolence to the community". "I don't know where they are. The rain has been heavy this year and caused a lot of destruction and we are all casualties", said Jayakumar.

Residents told AFP they had always been concerned about cracks in the dam, situated on Patel Coffee Estates, where coffee, macadamia nuts, flowers and other crops are grown.

"We have been sending 2500 loaves bread everyday but we will up it to 4000 tomorrow, 1200-1300 litres of milk for the children and the older people, 500 blankets, 300 sweaters and a truckload of maize flour and beans are on the way", said Jayakumar. We are always with you.

Ngugi Njoroge, one of dozens receiving treatment for his injuries, told reporters from his hospital bed he was separated from his family.

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