Meru river bed which has the ‘footprints’ of Jesus

Monday January 11 2016

A visitor at the Rwarera location. Residents claim the area is the real Jerusalem because of the ‘Makinya ja Jesu’, which loosely translates to the footsteps of Jesus in the local Kimeru dialect. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A visitor at the Rwarera location. Residents claim the area is the real Jerusalem because of the ‘Makinya ja Jesu’, which loosely translates to the footsteps of Jesus in the local Kimeru dialect. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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Lying on an extensive rocky patch at Rwarera location in Meru County is a unique natural phenomenon the locals believe are ‘footprints’ of Jesus.

Residents claim the area is the real Jerusalem because of the ‘Makinya ja Jesu’, which loosely translates to the footsteps of Jesus in the local Kimeru dialect.

They believe the marks were left by Jesus as he made a triumphant entry to Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey.

The serene area located along the Meru-Ruiri-Isiolo road is also famous for its natural salt water springs known as Munyu.

The set of Makinya ja Jesu are found on the sedimentary rocks, which cover about 200 acres of land.

Next to them are other footprints which appear to be those of a donkey or a horse.

One of the human-like footprint is huge and inside it is a smaller one. Next to it are two smaller ones which appear to be that of an average human adult.

The site attracts huge number of visitors, with some mainly interested in the spring waters which they believe have healing powers.

At one point of the rocks, the salt water gushes out of a crack with intense pressure, producing bubbles and sounds.

Locals call this spot Katheruko, meaning the boiling point. It has never dried up.

Some visitors believe the water has anesthetic properties and can cure a range of diseases.

About 10m away, livestock have their separate watering point. Meru pastoralists say the Munyu prevents worm infestation in their livestock.

Residents say the site should be recognised as a world heritage site.