A mentally challenged man from Gatituni village in Chuka, Tharaka-Nithi County has shocked many after surviving in a 60-foot well for 13 days without food.
Mr Royford Mugambi, 42, was retrieved from the well Wednesday evening.
He disappeared on the morning of May 22, 2020 while with his elderly mother who lives with him.
Speaking to journalists at their home on Thursday morning, Mr Henry Gitonga, Mr Mugambi’s elder brother, said they had been searching for him since his disappearance, even going to the Chuka County Referral Hospital mortuary.
He said the family had reported his disappearance to the administration and at Chuka Police Station and were almost losing hope of tracing him when he was discovered in the well.
Mr Gitonga said a neighbour, Mr John Mwenda, was working in a farm near the well when he heard someone calling and thought it was his father who was also working some meters away. But when he responded, his father said he had not called him.
Mr Mwenda continued with his work and then he heard the voice again. This time, the person called him by his name and when he trailed the direction of the voice, he noticed that the person was calling from the well and the soft voice sounded familiar; it was that of Mugambi.
He went close to the well and when he called out, Mugambi responded and asked for some water.
LADDER AND ROPE
“After confirming that it was Mugambi who had disappeared for some days, Mwenda rushed and informed his father before proceeding to our home and broke the shocking news,” said Mr Gitonga.
He said they all ran to the well, which had been dug many years back by the owner of the farm who was looking for water, and confirmed that it was his brother.
He hurriedly looked for a ladder, tied it with a rope and dropped it to the well.
He said they asked him to hold firm to the ladder as they pulled him out.
Mr Gitonga said they struggled to remove him because he was very weak, making it difficult for him to hold onto the ladder. When he came out, he asked for water.
“His body was pale, completely emaciated and totally confused when he came out,” he said.
The family called a doctor from Chuka County Referral Hospital who advised them to give him a glucose solution and some milk for a few days before introducing him to porridge and later soft food.
The villagers said they suspected the man had been taking some water since when he came out his clothes were wet, suggesting that the well had some water.
They termed the incident as miracle, saying they would hold a thanksgiving ceremony later