April 21, 2019

Cracks spread to Whitehouse in Nakuru, residents living in fear

A fissure at Whitehouse estate in the outskirts of Nakuru County. [www.sde.co.ke]

Cracks forming in the Rift Valley first seen at Suswa have now spread to Whitehouse, a town located at the outskirts of Nakuru Town.

The area which is at the foot of Menengai Crater now has deep fissures which have formed though they not for a long distance.

However, residents say this cannot be ignored because there is probability the fissure will continue spreading over time.

The cracks are about 40 metres long and are five feet wide. They formed on Thursday after a heavy downpour according to a resident, Evans Ogendi.

“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,” he said according to the Standard.

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He said the formation and appearance of the cracks are similar to those in Suswa.

“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,” added Ogendi.

Florence Wanja, said the cracks have bypassed her perimeter wall. She 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,” opined Wanja.

The residents called on the county government of Nakuru to re-route waters from the Menengai Crater and higher ground since they are part of the cause why the cracks are forming in the estate.

“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 the amount of water coming from the Menengai Crater is beyond what the system was designed for.

“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,” the MCA noted.

Similar cracks have also formed in Moi Ndabi area of Naivasha and Mai-Mahiu.

Last week, Scientists from the University of Nairobi (UoN) and the Institute for Meteorological Training and Research said the region has an active but hidden potent activity which has been revealed by presence of cracks in Rift Valley.

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