Two drown while crossing River Sagana in Nyeri

A section of Sagana river flows flowing over a bridge at Muruguru in Nyeri County as pictured on May 22, 2018. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Police confirmed one of the bodies has been retrieved from the river. 
  • A resident told the Nation the river has no bridge forcing residents to cross with the aid of large sticks.

Two women drowned on Wednesday while crossing River Sagana after it broke its banks at Kabaru village in Kieni East sub-county, Nyeri County. 

Kieni East Sub-County Police Commander Richard Rotich said one of the bodies of the deceased has since been retrieved as search continues for the other one.

Cultivate land

The two were trying to cross the river from Ngoni farm where they had gone to cultivate their land. The river was overflowing due to heavy rains that poured recently. 

The deceased were from Meru County who happened to have acquired land at Ngoni area which was leased by the Kenya Forest Service.

The deceased were identified as Jane Nyoroka alias Wamutuma and Doris Kinanu.

Retrieve the bodies 

A section of residents gathered at the River at 6am to retrieve the bodies.

"We have divided ourselves into two groups, one is searching on the upper side of the river and another on the lower side. It has been challenging to retrieve the bodies due to raging water" said Peris Wanjugu, aresident.

Francis Nderitu a resident of Kabaru informed the Nation that the river has no bridge forcing residents to cross with the aid of large sticks to guide them on knowing the depth of the water.

"We are pleading with the government to assist us with divers since the depth of the river is huge and we are not professionals," said Mr. Nderitu.

Over the years, locals have appealed to the government to build a footbridge to prevent deaths when the river floods.

Mr. Nderitu added that the women were forced to leave their farms unattended following a heavy downpour and head back to Kabaru village.

Nderitu said a report was made to the police to help them with the search.

Peris Wanjugu was among residents who had turned up to help with search and she said the incident was devastating more so because they could not access deep points in the river out of fear they would drown.

Eunice Njeri was a friend to one of the two women and she told the Nation that she had known the deceased for one year after she rented a house at Kabaru and was staying with her grandson.

"We are devastated and we are praying that the remaining body will be retrieved so that our hearts can be at peace. 

Eunice Njeri eulogized Mama Mutuma, as an outgoing happy person who participated greatly in church activities.