Family agonizing search for son who died swimming in colonial dam

By Osinde Obare | Wednesday, Aug 21st 2019 at 09:44
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For three days a family from Mombasa County has camped at a colonial dam in Trans-Nzoia County searching for the body of their son who drowned after he went to swim.

Local unskilled divers are demanding for sh 60,000 and a bull before they could trace and retrieved the body arguing it is a risk exercise.

Saidi Ali, a form four student was in company with three friends when she tried to swim at Kibomet dam but drowned during the Sunday incident.

The deceased’s mother Zena Aziz said her son had visited his grandparents in the area when incident happened.

"He traveled from Mombasa to visit his grandparents when he went swim but drowned and we have been camping here in search of his body,’’ said Aziz.

Ali’s friends said he accessed the dam and removed his clothes and jumped into the waters before disappearing.

"He told us he is an experienced swimmer and that the dam was no danger to him. We were busy watching game in his [deceased] phone when we realized he had been moved away by water,’’ said one of the deceased’s friends.

The family told reporters that some local youths had demanded for sh60,000 and a bull for them to search the body.

"The divers said searching the body is a risk exercise because they are not skilled and lack equipment. They want us to pay sh 60,000 and a cow to enter the dam and search the body,’’ said the wailing mother.

His friends said the deceased was in joyful mood before he drowned and had promised to teach them how to swim.

Residents accused the county government of failing to recruit and train divers to help during drowning incidents.

"It is unfortunate that the county government has not employed divers and we rely on unskilled youths who ask for money before they could search body of a person who has drowned,’’ said a resident Dismas Maina.

For the past 10 years over 68 people have drowned in dams that were abandoned by white settlers. The dams have not been secured.

Trans -Nzoia county police commander Ayub Ali confirmed the incident and said a search has been intensified to recover the body.

''It is true the student drowned while swimming at the dam and efforts are being made to recover the body,'' said Ali.

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