21 killed after dam burst in western Kenya

Dam Burst Leaves at Least 20 People Dead in Southwestern Kenya

Floodwater from a flower-farm dam that burst after days of torrential rain in Kenya's Rift Valley and swept through 450 homes, the local governor said on Thursday.

The water released from the dam flooded villages sweeping away homes leaving residents chest-deep in water.

In a statement to newsrooms, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said 15 ambulances have been dispatched to the scene to evacuate victims.

Kenya is already reeling from the effect of heavy rains and flash flooding that have hit east Africa.

Kenyan authorities and humanitarian organizations have airlifted stranded residents to safety and provided aid to isolated communities after weeks of heavy rain and landslides. At least 38 people were killed, though the death toll could rise as search-and-rescue operations continue.

"The search and rescue exercise is ongoing and more bodies have been retrieved", regional police chief Gideon Kibunjah told AFP. He was blind so he could not run.




There are concerns that the other two reservoirs owned by the farmer may also collapse, according to a BBC correspondent.

The government said on Wednesday the rain had killed 132 people and displaced 222,456 in 32 counties since March.

The area has seven dams used by a commercial farm, said Keffa Mageni, an official with an advocacy group that helps to resettle displaced people. "All our houses have been ruined", Ms Ngigi added.

Local radio station aired a report about the incident and fatality.

"There is another dam which is also overflowing which is looking risky", she said.

At least 21 lives have been lost. Up to 39 people have been rescued and taken to hospitals. Military helicopters have been deployed to assist with relief efforts.

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