Why Tharaka Nithi's Munyari River drift is a death trap

Munyari River

Munyari River in Tharaka constituency. The drift near Turima Day and Boarding Mix Secondary School has become a death trap.

Photo credit: Alex Njeru I Nation Media Group

Munyari River which separates Turima Sub-Location and Kathuura Sub-Location in Tharaka Nithi County has become a death trap.

Every rainy season, at least five people drown in the dangerous swollen river, especially at a dilapidated drift near Turima Day and Boarding Mix Secondary School.

Kathuura residents have to take the risk of crossing the swollen river to access services at Kibung’a Sub-County Hospital, Kibung’a Market, Gituri Primary, Turima Assistant County Commissioner’s office and Turima Chief’s office.

Those from Turima Sub-Location have no choice but to cross the dangerous river to access Turima Day and Boarding Mix Secondary School where most of the children from the region learn.

Last Saturday, Peter Mugendi Njeru and Mwiti Marigu were carried away by the waters while crossing the river at the drift and their bodies were later found on the river bank kilometres away.

Kathuura assistant chief Brenda Mbinya said officers from Marimanti Police Station took the bodies to Marimanti Level Four Hospital mortuary.

Mr Njeru is from Kanjoro Location in Tharaka North but worked in Kathuura while Marigu is from Matangige village in the neighbouring Nkondi Location.

“This river and especially the worn-out drift near Turima Day and Boarding Mix Secondary School has become a death trap,” said Ms Mbinya.

She said sometimes students and teachers going to Turima Day and Boarding Mix Secondary, Gituri Primary and Kathuura have to wait for hours for the water to reduce and sometimes remain at home the whole day due to the impassable river.

She noted that candidates sitting for national examinations are always inconvenienced due to delays in delivery of the examination papers to Turima Day and Boarding Mix Secondary School and Kathuura Primary School.

She added that sometimes candidates and examination managers risk their lives crossing the swollen river to avoid examination delays.

Rainy season

“We plead with the government to build a bridge across this river to end deaths and inconveniences experienced during the rainy season,” she said.

The road connecting the two areas is under Tharaka Nithi County Government which has been repairing the drift only to be carried away by the water almost every rainy season.

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