Man drowns in Mbita community water pan

A section of a water pan in Mbita. The body of Fredrick Otieno said to have mental health complications has been retrieved from the pan in a suspected case of drowning.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group.

Grief has engulfed a village in Mbita sub-county after a 42-year-old man suspected to be suffering from a mental disorder drowned in a water pan used by the community.

Fredrick Ondenyo Otieno died at the Oseno water pan that serves residents of Kamsama village.

His body was discovered on Monday afternoon three days after he was reported missing.

It is not clear whether he went to the pan voluntarily or someone forced him to get into the water before he drowned.

But his family reported that Mr Otieno had developed a mental illness and had been seen by a physiatrist in Kisumu.

Kayanja Assistant Chief Moses Sirawa said Mr Otieno was reported missing on Friday.

"The matter was reported at the Lwanda Police Station and a search for the man was ongoing," he said.

Before he disappeared, Mr Otieno was said to have been taken to hospital when his behaviour changed on Thursday.

Ran away

When he returned home later that afternoon, he decided to run away into a nearby bush.

His family searched in vain for him before reporting the matter to the police.

Mr Sirawa said children fetching water spotted a floating body and alerted some villagers.

He said the body had started decomposing, with the skin peeling off.

"He could have drowned on the day he went missing. Even though there were no physical injuries on the body, its condition showed that he had stayed in the water for some time," Mr Sirawa said.

Residents urged responsible agencies to fence the pan so as to minimise accidents.

The pan initially had a fence but residents pulled it down to allow their animals to drink water more easily.

Mr Otieno's body was taken to the Homa Bay County Referral Hospital mortuary for a postmortem.
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