Family seeks help to bury 12 accident victims

From left: Pastor Kiduyu, Wycliffe Kegode with his 5-year-old son Kelvin Imbuka, Azore Aguse and Teresah Ochollah at their home in Mahanga village home, Vihiga County. (Photo: Chrispen Sechere).
A family in Vihiga County is appealing for help to meet burial expenses for its 12 members who died in an accident last week.

The accident at Kamukuywa Bridge along Webuye-Kitale highway on Monday claimed a total of 16 people from Muhanga village. At least 19 people were killed during the accident.

The family has called on both the county and national governments as well as well wishers to help it raise funds to give their loved ones a decent send-off.

The accident occurred when a matatu the victims were travelling in rammed a truck that was transporting sugar cane.

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Wycliffe Kegode, the family’s eldest son, said the burden of burying the 12 was too heavy for them to carry.

“Nine of those who perished in the accident are close family members. They included my wife Ednah Nyaboke, son Derrick Oguso, daughter Ivy Mwenesi, brother Godfrey Ilahalwa, sister Joyce Oguso, sister-in-law Abigael Kegode, niece Caroline Vihenda and nephews Joseph Kegode and Ethan Ilahalwa,” Kegode said.

He said three other victims were members of the extended family while four were neighbours who had accompanied them for a visit to the home of one of our relatives.

He added: “This is very painful. We were also awaiting results of my last born child who had sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams at Vihiga Boys. I don’t have words to express what I am going through now. The family needs financial assistance to conduct the burials. We also need counselling.”

Planned burials

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“We have a budget of Sh3.5 million ahead of their planned burial on December 23. My worry is we may not be able to raise the money on our own by then. The burial expenses include mortuary fees.”

A funds-drive is scheduled to take place at the family’s home tomorrow.

The victims were returning from a reunion at their sister’s home in Matunda, Kitale, when the accident occurred.

Kegode, who was in a separate car together with his other brother George Oguso, said he tried in vain to reach the victims to warn them about the truck after their car narrowly missed it.

“We were ahead of the matatu carrying our relatives by about three kilometres. We missed the truck by sheer luck. I tried calling them to warn them about the truck, which did not have reflectors and was at a blind spot, but I could not reach them because of poor network. Calls were not going through,” Kegode said.

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“We are praying that God will give us strength to go through this very difficult moment in our lives.”

Governor Wilber Ottichilo, Senator George Khaniri, Vihiga MP Ernest Kivai and Mungoma MCA Wycliffe Masini promised to stand with the families. “We are doing everything possible to ease the burden on the families’ shoulders,” Kivai said.

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