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Rivers have claimed 31 in Bomet since the rains started

By Gilbert Kimutai | Published Fri, May 18th 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 17th 2018 at 23:29 GMT +3
A flooded river in Narok County. [File, Standard]

The county disaster management committee has expressed concern about the high number of people who have drowned in the past one month.

The committee chairperson, Justus Maina, said since the beginning of the rains more than a month ago, 31 people had died in various rivers.

Mr Maina noted that a high number of cases were reported at Nyangores River.

The chairman, who is also the county administration and ICT executive, said there was an urgent need to educate residents on the need to be careful during the rainy season.

“The number of drowning cases is concerning us. We have had to go talk to those living near rivers to be extra careful during the rainy season. Most of these rivers are full now,” said Maina.

A disaster management officer, Stanley Mutai, said 28 bodies had been retrieved while the search for three others was going on at Nyangores and Itare rivers.

In their report yesterday, the disaster management team said the drowning cases were recorded at Nyangores, Kipsonoi and Chemosit rivers and several dams.

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Twenty-two victims drowned while trying to use bridges on flooded rivers while six were recorded as suicide cases.

Mr Mutai also said two people had not been identified and the bodies were still lying at the Longisa Referral Hospital mortuary.

“So far we have received reports of 31 drowning cases and out of these, 27 are from Bomet while four are from neighbouring Kericho County. We have yet to find the other three. The cases have been reported to the police and the search is going on,” he noted yesterday.

Mutai said his office has started educating the public, especially the people living downstream and those close to rivers, to move to safer zones.

“We have had cases of people trying to cross rivers while drunk, so we educate them on the need to avoid risking their lives,” said the officer.

The residents asked the county administration to build safe bridges on rivers.

Richard Korir said many of the drowning cases were caused by bad bridges.

“It is a shame that despite the appeal for better bridges to help people cross some of these rivers, no one has heeded our calls. The blame for the deaths lies with the county leadership,” added Mr Korir.

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