Almost a month later, survivors of the Patel dam tragedy in Solai – Nakuru County that burst its walls, swept anything in its paths and claimed the lives of 47 people and a trail of destruction in Nyakinyua and neighbouring villages are still recovering from the deep scars and horrific memories of the fateful day even as they slowly begin to pick –up the pieces and rebuild their lives.
It is evident that any signs of rainfall is a recipe for fear and panic among survivors of the Patel dam tragedy. This is because they are still traumatized from the events that happened and turned around their lives in a way they had not anticipated.
Up to now, more than 200 families have not found a place to resettle and re-start life all over again. This is because they lost their property, businesses, livestock, livelihoods and loved ones.
A team from Bible Society of Kenya visited Solai for the second time in a bid to bring hope to the survivors through the trauma healing programme. It was evident that the participants we interacted with were seriously traumatised and required intensive sessions to heal their emotional and psychological wounds.
Mr. Joseph Gathoga, a father of four, and a motorcycle driver lost all his children and wondered if God is really fair. He is so hurt to a point that he feels life is not worth living. His family is all that he had, their absence left him empty and hopeless. However, after going through the trauma healing sessions we held, he confessed that he is feeling like his burdens have been lifted and he is ready to move on with life.
The trauma healing sessions were very engaging as the facilitators handled different topics and participants could identify with the topics. The sharing of stories gave the participants a lot of relief and helped them to begin the journey towards healing.
The practical session of taking their pains to the cross where all participants listed their pain on a piece of paper which they later burnt symbolized the beginning of their healing process. This was the most life changing session as participants released their burdens to Christ. Most of the inmates confessed that they will forgive those who have hurt them and to live a positive life.
Jane Kareithi, a mother of seven, testified that she lost her husband in 1999 hence has been struggling to raise her family alone. I have held unforgiveness in my heart towards my daughter who had wronged me for a year. She was also affected by the recent dam tragedy but I did not go to visit her despite the fact that she was in dire need of my help. After going through this session today, I have purposed to forgive her and reconcile with her so that we may live harmoniously. I thank the Bible Society of Kenya for coming to train us and allowing us to air our hurts so that we can receive healing from God.
“I am very happy to have gone through this training today. I felt so much pained by the incidences that happened here in Solai. I was traumatized by the events which led to the loss of friends, neighbours, children, families and property. I have had a very heavy heart and felt like we are being punished for something we are not aware of. The training today has helped me to release my burdens to Jesus who is well able to carry them and give me peace of mind. I am now free and I am looking forward to encourage my friends who are still experiencing sorrow in their lives. Thank you so much Bible Society of Kenya for your kindness and thinking about us in this challenging time. “Says Jane Njeri, resident.
After the training sessions, each participant received we distributed food, clothes and books to the participants and they were overjoyed by the kind gesture. We thank all our supporters for their kind donations and we look forward to be the good Samaritans to our brothers and sisters in Solai who need us at this point in time.