The owner of the killer Solai Dam, Mansukh Patel, has issued a formal apology to the people of Solai, Nakuru County whose lives were devastated by last week’s tragedy that claimed the lives of 47 people.
Mansukh, who is the chairman of Solai Group and whose identity is still shrouded in mystery, condoled with victims in a paid advert in one of the local dailies.
“On Wednesday, May 9th, we lost 47 precious lives to the Solai dam tragedy. We, the Patel family of Solai and members of the Patel farm management would like to express our deepest condolences,” reads part of the statement.
According to Mr Patel, investigations indicate that heavy rainfall in Dundori forest resulted in the collapse of the dam’s wall.
“Investigations point to the heavy rainfall in Dundori forest resulting in massive soil erosion with high-pressure water accompanied by dead stumps, logs, and big boulders that hit the wall of the dam causing a huge gush of water into the farm and outlying settlements,” he said.
The Patel Group, however, noted that they are still investigating.
“Since 1935, the Patel family has been an integral part of the Solai community and has always supported projects that uplift the general standard of living of the Wananchi. We are currently investigating how this could have happened and deeply regret the occurrence.”
Mansukh assured that the Patel Farm management is working round the clock with the government and its engineers to provide the necessary resources to displaced families affected.
“During this time of immeasurable grief and sorrow, we stand united with our community in social whole-heartedly. We appreciate the grace with which the government and Non-governmental Organisations have handled the situation.”
Meanwhile, a Committee of the Senate is demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of Mansukh .
Members of the Committee on National Security, led by its chairman Yusuf Haji, demanded that Patel be arraigned in court and be forced to compensate all the victims as the disaster was largely a consequence of his negligence.
“Buildings have collapsed in the past and the owners were arrested, questioned and forced to record statements. This does not appear to be the case in Solai dam disaster because it has been a week already and the owner has not recorded a statement. How powerful is the owner?” Haji asked on Monday.