Mai Mahiu Residents Received A Warning About The dam Tragedy

Survivors of the tragic Maai Mahiu flash flood have shared harrowing accounts of the events leading up to the catastrophe. According to local accounts, residents were warned about the potential risks posed by the Old Kijabe seasonal dam just hours before disaster struck.

Despite warnings issued by local churches regarding the possibility of the dam overflowing, many residents dismissed the concerns, believing that their homes were sufficiently distant from the dam. However, mere hours later, the dam’s walls gave way, unleashing a torrent of water that swept away countless individuals, animals, and possessions, leaving behind scenes reminiscent of a nightmare from a horror film.

At Naivasha Sub-county Hospital, eyewitnesses recounted how the sudden flash floods caught them off guard, snuffing out lives and aspirations within a matter of minutes. Among the survivors is Peter Waweru, who tragically lost his wife and two children. He narrowly escaped with injuries to his leg and hip after being carried more than two kilometers by the raging currents.

Waweru recalled that on the Sunday prior to the disaster, local churches had issued warnings to worshippers about the imminent danger as heavy rainfall persisted in the area. The subsequent search and rescue efforts, led by Kenya Red Cross manager Felix Maiyo, faced considerable challenges, including navigating through debris and vast amounts of sand displaced by the floodwaters.

Maiyo confirmed the involvement of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) personnel, as pledged by President William Ruto, expressing hope that their assistance, equipped with heavy machinery and trained sniffer dogs, would significantly enhance the search operation. The team managed to recover additional remains, including a head, thanks to the combined efforts of the search team and the KDF personnel.

Water Cabinet Secretary (CS) Zechariah Njeru attributed the flash floods to a blocked railway line tunnel, which impeded the natural flow of water through the River Tongi. This obstruction exacerbated the flooding, underscoring the need for infrastructure maintenance and disaster preparedness measures.