Drowned boy's body found in Turkwel River after three-day search

Turkwel River

What you need to know:

  • Police, Red Cross officials and local divers in Turkana Central Sub-county found 12-year-old Bramwel Lorieon’s body on Saturday.
  • Sub-county Police Commander David Mburukuwa warned parents against allowing their children to swim in rivers or play on their banks as water volumes are high due to the rains.
  • Water Resources Authority CEO Mohamed Shurie also said lives will be lost in case residents living downstream don't move to higher ground.

The body of a boy who drowned in Turkwel River while playing has been retrieved after a three-day search

Police, Red Cross officials and local divers in Turkana Central Sub-county found 12-year-old Bramwel Lorieon’s body on Saturday.

Sub-county Police Commander David Mburukuwa said a group of children was playing on the river bank when the incident occurred.

Mr Mburukuwa said the search mission began immediately after the boy's father John Lotian reported the incident at Lodwar Police Station.

"The body was retrieved at Napuu village, about six kilometers from where the children were playing,” he said, adding it was taken to Lodwar County Referral Hospital mortuary.

WARNINGS

Mr Mburukuwa warned parents against allowing their children to swim in rivers or play on their banks as water volumes are high due to the rains.

Children have been at home for several weeks now following the closure of schools as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Some have converted sandy fields next to Turkwel River and River Kawalase into playgrounds.

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) has warned that parts of Lodwar town near Turkwel River are at high risk of flooding due to heavy rains and the resultant overflow of water from Turkwel dam.

Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Shurie also said lives will be lost in case residents living downstream don't move to higher ground.

"More than 300,000 people, mostly in Turkana County, will be directly affected. Residents of high risk areas like Katilu, Kalemnyang, Loyapat, Nakwomoru, Lodwar town and Ferguson Bay should move to higher ground to prevent possible drowning."

DAM SPILLAGE

Mr Shurie noted that although the dam has never filled up since its construction, the rains in the Mt Elgon catchment area have caused the water to rise to the highest level ever reached - 1,139.24 meters above sea level as at November 12, 2012.

"The level as at August 3 was 1,143.85 metres. Spillage occurs at a water level of 1,150 meters above sea level,” he said.

The dam constructed between 1986 and 1991 for reasons including hydroelectric power production, irrigation, tourism and fisheries covers about 6,500 hectares.

Shurie further said that millions of shillings will be lost due to the damage at Turkwel and Katilu irrigation schemes that have provided pastoralists with an alternative source of income.