At least 45 people dead after dam collapses

NAIROBI, KENYA – Monday morning brought a catastrophic event to Western Kenya, with the collapse of the Old Kijabe Dam resulting in a tragic scene. The death toll is currently standing at a minimum of 45 people. The dam, situated in the Mai Mahiu region of the Great Rift Valley- an area vulnerable to flash floods- gave way and released a wave of water that surged through nearby homes, severing a primary road in the process.

The destructive force included not only water but also mud, rocks, and uprooted trees, leading to colossal devastation. The swelling waters soon engulfed substantial areas, and various vehicles became entrapped in the wreckage on one of Kenya’s busiest highways.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, hospitals are currently treating 109 individuals, while 49 others are unaccounted for.

Kenya has suffered frequent flooding due to persistent rains, leading to around 100 deaths and prompting a delay in school reopenings. The Meteorology Department warns that more rainfall is imminent.

For preventative action and in response to future concerns, Kenya’s Interior Minister, Kithure Kindiki, initiated an immediate inspection of all water reservoirs, both public and private, starting Monday afternoon.

The East African region at large is grappling with flooding issues due to heavy rainfall, with causalities reported in Tanzania and more than 200,000 people affected in Burundi.