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Hikers rescued after spending two nights in Aberdare Forest

RIFT VALLEY
By James Munyeki | October 10th 2016
In an operation conducted by the Kenya Police, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service officers and the public, the four were rescued deep inside the forest where they had spent two nights without food or water. (Photo: File/Standard)

Three students and a tour guide who went missing at the Aberdare Forest in Nyandarua County on Saturday have been rescued.

The four were among 100 people who had gone on a hiking expedition when they went missing in unclear circumstances.

They have since been taken to Nairobi Hospital for checkup.

In an operation conducted by the Kenya Police, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service officers and the public, the four were rescued deep inside the forest where they had spent two nights without food or water.

Among them is Kevin Kimani, a student at USIU, Eunice Wanjiru, Rachael Ngendo from the University of Nairobi and a tour guide identified as Joseph Mwangi.

The rescue team used three choppers to locate them at a deep valley within the forest.

Their rescue brought joy and celebrations from both their families and members of the public who gathered desperately waiting at the entrance to the forest.

The four went missing after they lost their route out of the forest having spent the entire day with their colleagues.

They attested that this was their worst moment in their lifetime. They had to rely on wild fruits to keep them alive.

"We were in the company of our colleagues but incidentally, we missed the route that the rest followed. That was when we lost contact. We have spent the two days trying to locate the route out of the forest in vain," said Kimani.

He said that their phones ran out of power and they could not communicate with their colleagues.

"This complicated the matter. We had to go round the forest the whole of Saturday night but we did not find a way out. We had to light fire to protect us from the wild animals," he noted.

Wanjiru termed the incident as unimaginable.

"We all had fun only for the ugly incident to happen to us despite having a tour guide with us. It was like a nightmare. We thank God that the Government came to our rescue.

Mr Stanly Ndungu, the father to Kimani was overcome by joy as he received the good news that they had been rescued.

"We were so worried about losing our children but we thank God that at last, they have been rescued. God has been good to us and we will always praise him," he noted.

Nyandarua County Commander Samuel Kimiti who led the operation said that the four got wind of the chopper’s presence and started waving at it.

"They spotted us in the air and waved at us and that is how we managed to locate them. They were dehydrated and we had to give them first aid before they were airlifted to Nairobi,” Kimiti noted.

He said that they were in a stable condition.

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