A 53-year-old woman died yesterday after falling into a pit latrine. Janet Muhonja from Wasambu village was relieving herself in the morning when the latrine sank into the ground.
Neighbours said the latrine was rickety and the heavy rainfall experienced recently in the region may have made it more vulnerable.
“We had just had tea in the morning together and I left her at her house. A few moments later, I heard a sound like that of a collapsing building. I rushed back to her house only to find that the latrine had sunk with her,” said Beatrice Mulusa, a neighbour.
Ms Mulusa said she found Muhonja after she had already submerged into the latrine, with only her hand in the air and having breathing difficulties.
“I started wailing and calling for help but help came much later as there were only very few people around who could help bring her up immediately,” she said.
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The mother of six was alone at her home as her children had gone to school.
Vihiga OCS Judith Nyongesa noted that police arrived at the scene on time but could not save the woman as the latrine was deep and there was no fire engine at hand.
Submerged for hours
“The fire engine arrived from Kakamega, when she had already died and had been retrieved from the latrine by residents,” Nyongesa said.
The OCS said the deceased may have been submerged in the latrine for more than two hours, which occasioned her death.
Central Maragoli Ward MCA Abdalla Chogo, who was also the victim’s neighbour, advised locals to stay away from rickety buildings during the rainy season.
Heavy rain has recently been experienced in the region.