Grief as 3 girls who drowned in Tharaka Nithi are buried

Pupils drown burial

Caskets containing the remains of three primary school pupils who drowned in Kathita River during their burial on October 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Alex Njeru I Nation Media Group

It was a sorrowful day in Rukurini village in Tharaka constituency as three primary school pupils who drowned in Kathita River a week ago were laid to rest.

Two of the girls were in Grade Six at Kiorimba Primary while one was in Grade Three at Rwatha Primary.

The three girls had left their homes in the company of their mothers.

However, as their mothers stopped to speak to other women who were coming from church, the girls rushed to the river to swim but unfortunately drowned.

Parents, teachers and residents told of how the horrible incident had robbed them bright and disciplined children with a promising future.

Kiorimba and Rwatha pupils where the girls aged 15, 12 and 11 were schooling painfully told of how they had lost great friends, classmates and play partners.

Tharaka Nithi Woman Representative Susan Ngugi and Nkondi ward representative Gitonga Kithuka decried increased cases of drowning in the region in the last two months despite the low water volume in the rivers.

Ms Ngugi regretted that eight pupils had drowned in rivers in the last one month in Tharaka constituency alone.

"Five girls and three boys have drowned in the last one month in Tharaka constituency," said Ms Ngugi.

Rwatha Primary pupils

Pupils of Rwatha Primary School in Tharaka Nithi County bid farewell to three colleagues who drowned in Kathita River last Sunday. Parents were asked to ensure their children do not go to the river unaccompanied.

Photo credit: Alex Njeru I Nation Media Group

She urged parents to keep children away from rivers or ensure they are accompanied by adults to fetch water or wash clothes.

Mr Kithuka also urged the residents to be vigilant after the rain falls as rivers will be flooded.

He appealed to government to provide piped water to the residents to avoid people relying on fetching water from rivers to avert more deaths.

Two weeks ago, two 13-year old Standard Seven and Standard Six girls drowned in Kithino River in Chiakariga.

Four weeks ago, three children aged 13, 12 and 10 from Gakuyu Primary in Kirukuma Sub-Location in Tharaka South also drowned in Kathita River. 

The pupils had travelled for a number of kilometres to Gituma Sub-Location to look for water to wash their school uniforms.