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Train more divers for Murang’a killer spots, residents appeal

Wednesday January 22 2020

Murang'a divers

Divers search for bodies of two children who drowned in Thika River in Kandara on January 20, 2020. The Murang’a disaster management team has said that about 15 people have drowned at three killer water falls in different rivers in the county. PHOTO | NDUNG’U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NDUNG'U GACHANE
By NDUNG'U GACHANE
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At least 15 people, mainly children, have drowned in different rivers in Murang’a County with the disaster management team failing to retrieve five of the bodies.

Bodies of three of those who lost their lives at the killer spots were retrieved on Tuesday after drowning two days earlier.

They were all pupils of Weithaga Primary School and had gone on a swimming expedition in Thika River. Two of them were from Ng’araria village in Kandara Constituency.

Head of Disaster Management Bilha Wanjiku said her team had managed to retrieve five bodies after a long search.

SWIMMING

Ms Wanjiku also told the Nation that her team is yet to retrieve the body of a boy who drowned in November last year in Mukungai River where 11 people have lost their lives while swimming.

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“When he drowned, the river was flooded and, in fact, up to date the river is still flooded. We decided to withdraw our men since we did not want to endanger more lives in the process of recovering the body,” she said.

Locals watch as divers search for bodies of two
Locals watch as divers search for bodies of two children who drowned in Thika River on January 20, 2020. PHOTO | NDUNG’U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Residents now want the Murang’a County government to train more divers, clear bushes surrounding the killer spots, and post warnings to locals to stop swimming at the water falls. At the same time, they want the county to fence off the dangerous spots to prevent more deaths.

FENCE OFF SPOTS

“Many lives have been lost at the Mukungai water fall and in Thika River and it is high time the government fenced off the spots and identify areas which are dangerous and caution people who may not be aware of them. Most of the people who have drowned are usually strangers who come to visit their relatives and then go swimming,” Mr Joseph Karanja said.

On Tuesday, the disaster management team retrieved the bodies of Moses Mwangi, 13, Michael Gikandu, 11, and Elvis Irungu, 11. The team asked parents to always monitor the movements of their children.

“On the issue of training, we have the best team for disaster management so the best solution would be for teachers and parents to monitor the movements of pupils and sensitise them on the number of people who have perished at the three killer spots along rivers in Murang’a County,” Ms Wanjiku said.

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