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Fissures developing in a Nakuru Estate leaves residents in fear

COUNTIES
By Kennedy Gachuhi | Apr 29th 2018 | 2 min read
A fissure that developed in Maryland area within Whitehouse Estate in Nakuru on Friday. The area, which is at the foot of the Menengai Crater has had light tremors in the past two weeks since heavy rains started. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A section of residents from Whitehouse Estate in the outskirts of Nakuru town are living in fear after fissures developed in the area.

The residents, whose estate is at the foot of the Menengai Crater said though the fissures have not extended for a long distance they cannot be ignored as there are signs of them widening with time.

According to Evans Ogendi, a resident, the cracks that extend for about 40 metres and which are five feet wide developed on Thursday evening as heavy rains hit the area.

“I was watching the rain fall from my window when I noticed a crack develop in the middle of the road next to my house. In less than an hour the crack had widened and more soil was caving in,” said Mr Ogendi.

Ogendi said concern is that the cracks may extend to flats,  that house hundreds of residents.

“The cracks in Suswa area started in the same way; this one should be taken seriously too.

“We may end up losing our property or lives if it is not established whether they are just fissures or a fault line,” said Ogendi.

Several cracks have also developed on the perimetre wall, which is part of Florence Wanja’s house. Ms Wanja said the ground had been shaking whenever it rained, causing cracks. “There has been slight tremors in the past two weeks. If the situation continues things might get worse,” she said .

Last month, geologists warned that several fault lines are still active in the Rift Valley.

The locals called on the county government to create an alternative route for waters coming from the crater and higher grounds, saying this will stop the cracks from growing deeper.

“The recent rehabilitation of roads in the area saw water from the higher grounds directed through the estate. The road will soon be cut off completely by floods through erosion,” said Douglas Esiago, a local.

Menengai East Ward MCA Wilson Mwangi said authorities have engaged stakeholders to address drainage problems in the area.

He noted that the amount of water draining from Menengai Crater is beyond what the system was designed.

“There are many cracks in the area that are covered by loose soil. A team of engineers and geological experts will tour the area next week for assessment,” said Mr Mwangi.

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