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At least 20 dead after dam bursts in Kenya: police

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    Agence France-Presse

Nairobi   /   Thu, May 10, 2018   /   02:21 pm
At least 20 dead after dam bursts in Kenya: police Photo taken on April 12, 2012 shows a part of the Masinga hydro-electricity dam at Masinga, approximately 230 kilometres north of Nairobi, that is part of a series of dams known as the seven-forks dams that are the country's main electricity generators. Only about 18% of Kenyan households have access to power, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, where peak demand for electricity has increased to 1,200MW and is forecasted to reach 15,000MW by 2030. Over-reliance on hydro-generated energy, that supplies 60% of the national requirement, has meant severe gluts in daily supply and expansion countrywide due to changes in climatic patterns that in recent years has seen the eastern Africa region suffer catastrophic droughts owing to numerous failed rains. (AFP/Tony Karumba)

At least 20 people died when their homes were swept away after a dam burst in southern Kenya following heavy rains, police said Thursday.

The incident in Solai, near the Rift Valley city of Nakuru, occurred Wednesday evening, regional police chief Gideon Kibunjah told AFP by telephone, adding that 36 people had been hospitalised.

"More bodies have been recovered raising the death toll to 20," Kibunjah said, updating an earlier toll of 11.

The Kenyan Red Cross estimates that up to 500 families were affected by the disaster, which occurred some 150 kilometres (90 miles) northwest of Nairobi.

Weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides, and the latest deaths take to 152 the death toll countrywide.

The Kenya Red Cross estimates that up to 500 families were affected in the tragedy after their houses were swept away.

"We have set up a centre near the scene for families to report missing members to enable us to reunite them," said Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui.