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Lawyers invite court to visit Solai Patel Farm before hearing of case

By Julius Chepkwony | Published Wed, July 18th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 17th 2018 at 22:33 GMT +3
Lawyer Robert Owino (left) and Kipkoech Ng'etich outside Nakuru Law Courts on July 17, 2018 after a mention of a case filed by Kabazi ward Member of County Assembly Peter Mbae seeking orders by the court to have six dams assessed. [Julius Chepkwony/Standard]

The Nakuru Environment and Lands Court has been invited to visit the Patel Farm in an ongoing case seeking social audit of dams in the farm.

The invitation by lawyers Kipkoech Ng’etich and Robert Owino comes as the hearing of a petition seeking the assessment is pending in court.

“We need the court to visit the farm before the case pending is heard and determined. Our invitation to have the court visit the Patel Farm this morning is to have it get a clear picture on the suit filed before it,” said Mr Ng'etich.

The petition by Kabazi Member of County Assembly Peter Mbae filed last June seeks orders by the court to have an environmental impact assessment report and social audit of six dams at the Patel Farm in Solai.

The petition by the MCA further seeks a restoration of the ecosystem, and that the dams be demolished and rivers allowed to flow on their original course.

Poor condition

Mbae says the dams at the farm are not in good condition and that their status need to be known.

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This follows the bursting of one of them in May, that lead to the killing of 48 people and massive destruction of property.

The MCA says the dams had been in existence since the colonial era and continued to wear off. He further stated that the dams were put up along waterways and that it was not clear if their spillways were adequate.

National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Water Resources Management Authority, National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation, Tindress Patel Coffee Estate and Salt Manufacturers Company Limited have been named as respondents in the case.

The Law Society of Kenya has also been enjoined as an interested party.

The court yesterday directed the respondents to file and serve their replying statements within 14 days. The case will be mentioned on November 15.


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