Devastating Dam Burst and Floods Hit Kenya’s Rift Valley

Devastating Dam Burst and Floods Hit Kenya’s Rift Valley

At least 42 people died in a dam burst near Mai Mahiu in Nakuru county. The incident caused destruction of houses and road blockage. Rescuers are working to recover more bodies from the debris.

Governor’s Statement

  • Nakuru governor Susan Kihika stated that the death toll is likely to rise.
  • She mentioned that the estimate of 42 dead is conservative.

Total Death Toll

  • The total death toll during the March-May wet season reached 120.
  • Heavy rainfall, exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern, has caused widespread flooding.

Kenya Red Cross Response

  • The Kenya Red Cross retrieved two bodies from a boat that capsized in flooded Tana River county.
  • 23 individuals were rescued from the capsized boat.

Impact on Education

  • Due to ongoing heavy rains, the Ministry of Education postponed the reopening of schools by one week.
  • Education Minister Ezekiel Machogu cited safety concerns for learners and staff as the reason for the postponement.

Regional Impact

  • Tanzania experienced flooding and landslides, resulting in at least 155 fatalities.
  • In Burundi, around 96,000 people were displaced due to relentless rains.
  • Uganda faced heavy storms causing riverbanks to burst, resulting in casualties and displacements.

Historical Context

  • The dam collapse echoes a similar incident in Solai, Nakuru county, six years prior, which claimed 48 lives.
  • The 2018 disaster involved a private reservoir on a coffee estate, triggered by torrential rains.
  • Last year, the region experienced devastating rains and floods, exacerbating recovery efforts from a severe drought.

Environmental Factors

  • The El Nino weather pattern, considered one of the five strongest ever recorded, has contributed to the intensity of the rains and subsequent disasters.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. How many people died in the dam burst near Mai Mahiu in Nakuru county?
    • A) 32
    • B) 42
    • C) 52
    • D) 62
    • Answer: B) 42
  2. What reason did Governor Susan Kihika give for estimating the death toll to rise?
    • A) Conservative estimate
    • B) Intense rainfall
    • C) Unstable dam structure
    • D) Inadequate rescue efforts
    • Answer: A) Conservative estimate
  3. How many bodies did the Kenya Red Cross retrieve from the capsized boat in Tana River county?
    • A) None
    • B) One
    • C) Two
    • D) Three
    • Answer: C) Two
  4. Why did the Ministry of Education postpone the reopening of schools?
    • A) Teacher strikes
    • B) Ongoing heavy rains
    • C) Lack of funding
    • D) Outbreak of diseases
    • Answer: B) Ongoing heavy rains
  5. Which weather pattern has exacerbated the heavy rainfall in the region?
    • A) La Nina
    • B) El Nino
    • C) Monsoon
    • D) Cyclone
    • Answer: B) El Nino