A family at Bondeni village, Chekalini location in Lugari Sub County is in grief after its 25 year old son was swept away by the raging waters of Kipkaren River on Wednesday afternoon.
The victim’s father, Mr. Lawrence Chamenya, told journalists that his son, Francis Ochango, had spent better part of the fateful Wednesday working on a sugarcane plantation in the neighbouring Itumbu village before the tragedy occurred at about 4pm.
“According to his friend, after closing business of the day on the farm where they had been contracted to weed cane, the two decided to clean their jembes beside the flooded river before my son was swept away as he attempted to retrieve his jembe, which had slipped into the river,” explained the anguished father.
Chamenya’s claims were supported by Mr. Cyrus Khayumbi, the deceased’s friend.
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Speaking at the fateful spot, Khayumbi narrated to the press how his friend insisted on them cleaning their legs and jembes, despite the river being flooded as a result of heavy rainfalls that have been pounding the area for the last two weeks.
“I helplessly watched as the speeding and heavily river swept my colleague downstream,” recalled a devastated Khayumbi.
Officials from the Kenya Red Cross Society, with help from private expert swimmers, have since then pitched tent along the river in effort to trace the missing body.
Koromaiti Sub Location Assistant Chief, Mrs. Wilkster Muyoka expressed the local administration’s concern over increasing and frequent cases of death caused by the river when she addressed area residents on Thursday.
Mrs. Muyoka urged the locals to stop any activities close to the banks of the river, including sand harvesting, grazing of domestic animals, fetching water, washing clothes and bathing, in order to avert further calamities.