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Search on for Eldoret boy who drowned in River Sosiani

Wednesday November 6 2019

 River Sosiani in Eldoret

Volunteer divers use a rope for balance in the raging water of River Sosiani in Eldoret town as they search for the body of Emmanuel Kiprotich, 11, on November 5, 2019. Kiprotich drowned on October 29, 2019 as he as playing with other children. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

EDITH CHEPNGENO
By EDITH CHEPNGENO
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A family in Eldoret town is in agony after their son slipped into River Sosiani a week ago and his body is yet to be located despite various efforts by local divers.

The family, which resides in West Indies estate, said their 11-year-old son fell into the river last week on Tuesday as he was playing with other children.

Efforts by the volunteer local divers who were called in to help retrieve the body from the raging waters have borne no fruit.

RIVER SWOLLEN

The river is currently swollen due to the ongoing heavy rains in the region.

Mike Kemboi, the boy’s father, said his son was a few meters from their West Indies home playing with other children when the tragedy happened.

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“Last week on Tuesday my son, Emmanuel Kiprotich, went out to play with other children. They decided to play along River Sosiani and he fell and drowned. Efforts by his friends to save him were futile because they were overwhelmed by the raging waters,” Mr Kemboi narrated.

He called on the government to help them retrieve the body. He said so far they have received little support from the county government.

EIGHTH DAY

“Today is our eighth day since we started the search for his body. We have not received much help from the county apart from the ladders and the ropes that we are using in our search,” said Mr Kemboi.

Susan Maina, who is Emmanuel’s aunt, said that after receiving the information about the incident from the children who were playing with the boy, they immediately started the search for his body.

“His friends saw him being swept away by the water. They even tried rescuing him but they were overwhelmed. When we got the news, we embarked immediately on a rescue mission. On the day of the incident, we searched until 3am but we were not successful,” said Mrs Miana.

LOCAL DIVERS

“On our fourth day of the search, the county sent us a fire brigade team which was not of much help to us,” she added.

The family has sought the help of 15 local divers from different parts of the country to help them retrieve the body.

“The government is in a position to help us. Let it send us the navy team or do something. The local divers are really trying but they lack equipment. They can’t control the speed of the fast flowing waters. Let it help us find our son and end this anguish,” said Ms Priscila Sulo, a relative.

Lemmy Kibet, one of the local divers, said that the lack of equipment has been hindering them in their search efforts.

He said that the river is flowing too fast for them.

ROPES

Mr Kibet said they have now resorted to using ropes to dive into the deep ends of the river with the hopes of finding the body.

“We have high hopes of finding the body. It is only that we lack equipment. We are depending on the ropes and ladders. And as you can see, the water is moving so fast. In the process we get injured as stones cut us but we are doing our best,” said Mr Kibet.

The divers said that they started their search from West Indies area and they are headed downstream.

The family has been holding prayers daily along the river bank with the hopes that the body will be found soon.

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