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Family's agonising search for mother, daughter who drowned in Kiambu

Wednesday December 11 2019
ruiru

Villagers search for the woman and her daughter who drowned in River Ruiru on Sunday. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JAMES KAHONGEH

A short journey to church for Lucy Wambui and her daughter Ruth Nduta from Kwa Maiko village in Kiambu County ended in tragedy on Sunday morning when the two drowned while trying to cross River Ruiru using a makeshift bridge.

Wambui, Nduta and son Anthony Njuguna were headed to church in Komothai area in Githunguri when the accident occurred. 

HELPLESS

According to Njuguna, 30, who survived the accident, the trio had taken turns to cross the swollen river using a log. Nduta, 13, went first and the log twisted, plunging her into the river.

Wambui fell into the water while trying to pull her daughter to safety.  

A frightened and helpless Njuguna watched as the two were quickly swept away by strong currents.

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For the fourth consecutive day now, a search party made up of mostly villagers has been scouring the river and surrounding bushes for any traces of their bodies. Without any luck.

Using wooden rods and on foot, villagers have spent hours by the river valley trying to locate the bodies.  

By Monday afternoon, only Wambui's handbag had been located by the searchers a few metres from the point where the two drowned.

On Wednesday, her mobile phone and her personal effects, including vegetables she was carrying, were also located further downstream.

Search efforts have largely been hampered by raging waters of the flooded river that drains into River Chania, and lack of specialised equipment and skills among the villagers.

By the close of the search mission on Wednesday evening, the family had yet to locate the bodies. They are now calling on the government to help them find the bodies. 

The local administration police on Thursday promised to help find the bodies.

As the short rains continue, more than 130 people have lost their lives, thousands of others displaced and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.

In response to the disaster caused by floods across the country, the government has set aside Sh200 billion to evacuate and provide aid to the victims.

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