Patel Farm overview

The tragedy at Patel Farm whereby scores lost their lives and hundreds were displaced defies human understanding and wisdom.

Here is an iconic farm which has been unparalleled in this vast semi-arid area of the county.

The immense farm stands out like an oasis in a desert and nobody knows the exact number of acres except the elderly Patel, who rarely gives interviews to journalists.

The massive productive farm has thousands of dairy cattle and huge farms of coffee, which is processed and sold directly to international markets.

But the other small hold farms far away from the farm stand out as images of poverty and wretchedness.

Their owners are the workers who toil at the catastrophic farm on a daily basis and they seem to like the owner. They have also nicknamed the farm Tinderess.

Within the farm there is one mega dam and two other reservoirs, which are used for irrigation and watering of the animals. When it is extremely dry, the locals are allowed to fetch water once a day.

However, this farm which stands as the true picture of agricultural technological transformation, and success burst its mega Wednesday night at 9pm and swept 300 poor villagers’ property claiming about 50 lives in a twinkling of an eye.

Although the elderly owner of the farm is known as Mansukul Patel, locals only seem to know his first name. Even when there were crashes in the county in the 1990s the farm was not affected at all.

A resident of the area Mercy Njeri said locals have a lot of respect for the owner of the farm that has conquered the ravages of nature and turned a dry dusty land into a success story.

The area near the farm is popularly known as Kwa Patel and even matatus have a stage outside the well fenced farm.

But not many residents in Nakuru Town seem to know about the farm, so yesterday morning, many were wondering why the area is referred to as Kwa Patel.

Many residents of Asian origin in the county are known for their business acumen but Patel is not one of them. He has invested in agricultural and livestock farming within the farm.

The MCA for Kabazi ward, Peter Mbae said a command center has been opened at the farm and appealed for humanitarian assistance for food, blankets and tent

The calamity has shaken the town residents who are scared that the continued heavy rains may cause more havoc.

Since the rains began in March many estates have been flooding due to clogged sewerage and poor drainage system.

Prior to Wednesday night disaster, the area witnessed a three hour continuous downpour.

Ironically, the county has a perennial water shortage and whenever it rains there is excitement; but this time round the rain has brought holocaust.

Source: Kenya News Agency