Two feared dead after boat capsizes in River Sabaki
| April 21st 2013
By Paul gitau and Kevin Odit
Two people are feared dead after a canoe they were using to cross River Sabaki capsized. One victim is believed to have escaped death narrowly during the incident.
Relief agencies reported yesterday that 1,332 people, mainly women and children, were trapped following flash floods in Bate village of Magarini constituency in Kilifi County. There are reports that the Kenya Red Cross Society was planning to use a helicopter to rescue the families.
Yesterday three Permanent Secretaries led by Andrew Mondoh who is in charge of Special Programmes flew to the flood hit areas in Kilifi County to coordinate relief and rescue efforts.
Others in the entourage were Mark Bor of Public Health and Sanitation and Carey Orege of Regional Development.
Magarini DC Richard Karani confirmed the boat tragedy and assured that rescue efforts were underway.
The three unidentified victims, all men, in the boat incident are said to have attempted to cross the river to get to a neighbouring village after their houses were washed away by floods when River Sabaki burst its bank.
Witnesses told The Standard on Sunday torrential rains and floods upstream also swept away a footbridge at Kisiki cha Mungu in Shakahola, 140 kilometers from Malindi town.
The bridge worth Sh20 million was opened by immediate former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka last year.
Red Cross coordinator in charge of Malindi and Magarini Hassan Musa said the three drowned after their canoe capsized.
Musa said one person managed to swim to safety while the two others could not be traced.
KRCS divers were dispatched to the area to rescue the missing people.
“We have dispatched our divers to trace them but the waters are too rough,” he said as anxious relatives milled around the river. Magarini District Deputy County Commissioner Richard Karani confirmed the incident and said the search for the victims was still on.
Mr Karni said: “We have advised all the people living around the river banks to move to higher ground and to avoid using canoes when the waters are rough.”
He said one body had already been retrieved from the river while search for the other is ongoing.
“We have retrieved one body of a male adult who was identified as Katana and search for the other person is still ongoing,” he said.
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