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Residents protest open quarry after body of missing man found

Thursday January 30 2020

Officers from Tharaka-Nithi County Rescue

Officers from Tharaka-Nithi County Rescue Squad retrieve a body from a deep swamp on January 29, 2020 at Kithangani in Igambang'ombe Sub County. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ALEX NJERU
By ALEX NJERU
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Angry residents of Kithangani Location in Igambang’ombe Sub-County, Tharaka-Nithi County, want a road contractor to fence off a deep excavation which has collected water, turning into a death trap.

Yesterday, the body of an elderly man, who went missing on Monday, was found floating in the water, triggering protests by the locals. The residents accused Westbuild General Contractor Limited of failing to cover or fence off the quarry. The contractor was harvesting murram in the area, resulting in the quarry.

Mr Nelson Murithi, a resident, said the excavation is next to a road and a playground which poses a threat to children who like swimming in the dangerous pool that is almost 20 feet deep.

“Unless this pit is covered or fenced off, we will continue to lose lives,” said Mr Murithi.

MYSTERY DEATH

The victim, Mr Rwiga Mbare, 70, is said to have left his home on Monday to visit his sister in a neighbouring village but never went back.

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His wife looked for him in the neighbouring villages without success.

“We can’t tell if he accidentally fell into the water and drowned or he was killed and the body thrown there,” said Ms Ciangai.

Police officers from Chuka Police Station took the body to Chuka County Referral Hospital mortuary.

Meru South Police Commander Joseph Kavoo said police were investigating the incident.

Efforts to get a comment from Westbuild General Contractors Limited were unsuccessful. They had left the site and could not be reached on the phone.

Residents of Nyakini Village in the neighbouring Maara Sub-County also want Intex Construction Company to cover a similar pit left behind after murram harvesting.

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