Search begins for two KRA workers swept away in Kwale flooding

KRA car

A Land Cruiser, in which the two missing employees of KRA were travelling in, is recovered from the Ramisi River along the Likoni-Lungalunga highway in Kwale County. Their bodies are still missing.  

Photo credit: Siago Cece | Nation Media Group

Search and rescue operations have begun for two Kenya Revenue Authority officials who went missing on Friday night after their vehicle was swept away by floods along the Ramisi River in Kwale County.

This comes as the KRA confirmed that the two officers, who are its employees, were travelling to Mombasa from Lunga-Lunga where they were stationed, before the accident happened.

"The Authority has already engaged family members of the two officers and an intensive search and rescue operation by a Government multi-agency team is underway," said Acting Regional Coordinator-Southern Region Lawrence Siele.

Multi-agency rescuers on the ground said they had identified the vehicle in the morning and were in the process of recovering it as the search for the bodies continued.

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Witnesses said the occupants had failed to heed warnings that the road ahead was impassable. Several other vehicles, buses, truckers and commuters were stranded at Ramisi Bridge because the road was impassable.

Broke their banks

Kwale County Commissioner Mike Meru said an impromptu meeting had been organised with the county leadership to strategise on how to contain the flooding situation, which had affected hundreds of residents as all rivers in the county broke their banks.

"The security team, Kenya Red Cross and other agencies will be meeting the governor today so that we can look at ways to mitigate and contain the situation," he said.

He urged residents in Kinango, Lunga-Lunga and Msambweni areas to be wary of the waters, saying the areas are at risk of further flooding as all rivers in Kwale have burst their banks due to incessant rains since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, KRA has said it will continue to update family members of the two employees on the ongoing process.

"KRA will continuously update the family members, its staff and the public on the progress and outcome of the rescue mission. The safety and well-being of KRA employees remains the Authority's priority and all machinery is being deployed for a positive outcome," said Mr Siele.