Patel Coffee Estates Managing Director Perry Mansukhlal appears before a Senate committee investigating the Solai dam tragedy, on July 18, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Victims of the Solai dam tragedy that left at least 46 people dead have sued the government and the proprietor for compensation.
In the petition certified as urgent by High Court Judge Rose Ougo, the claimants say their constitutional and fundamental rights were infringed by various state departments which failed to adequately asses the safety of the dam.
The compensation being sought has not been quantified.
They want the court to order the dam’s owner, Perry Mansukhlal Kansagra, to provide them with basic amenities.
The case was filed by lawyer Ronald Ochieng Onyango for the Justice and Environment Foundation (JEF) and five other petitioners.
“The petitioners children’s education has been interrupted as their schools were ravaged by floods arising from the collapse of Milmet Dam owned by Solai Group of Companies,” Mr Onyango, who is being second chaired by Mr Kimutai Bosek, said.
The respondents are Mr Kansagra, Solai Group of Companies, Kensalt Limited, Patel Coffee Estate Limited, Vinoj Jaya Kumar, Water Resources Authority, National Environment Management Authority, National Construction Authority and the Attorney-General.
Justice and Environment Foundation chairperson Godfrey Onyango, who filed the evidence, wants the case determined quickly for the sake of the victims.
“There have been instances of intimidation and coercion by some people compelling the victims of the May 9 dam tragedy to accept monetary payments dubbed as waivers to future claims in the matter,” Mr Onyango says.
He adds that the petitioners are vulnerable, hence “in dire need of protection”.
The other claimants are Isaac Chege, Peter Macharia, Peter Mugi, Jane Njuguna, Elzabeth Waiharo and Jane Wangui.
They said the victims are susceptible to diseases owing to the harsh whether conditions.
The case will be heard on July 31.