Four Tharaka University College Students drowned on Saturday while swimming in a shrine at River Kathita in Tharaka Nithi County.
Marimanti Police Station OCS, Robert Maila, confirming the incident, said that the bodies of three students had been retrieved, while the search for the remaining one was underway.
“Three bodies, two men and one lady have been retrieved from the water and taken to Marimanti Sub County Hospital mortuary,” he said.Residents gather at Ndia Iri in River Kathita, Tharaka Nithi County where local divers were searching for the bodies of four Tharaka University College students who drowned on November 6, 2021.Nation
According to the residents, eight students from the institution had gone for a Saturday afternoon excursion along river Kathita, before six of them opted to swim in one of the shrines commonly known to locals as ‘Ndia Iri’.
The six were overwhelmed by the storm, with the four drowning and two rescued by local divers where they were taken to Marimanti Level 4 Hospital for treatment.
A similar incident occurred in 2019 in the same river where a first-year student drowned while swimming.
Cases of students drowning in rivers in the region have become rampant in the recent past. Most of them have been attributed to the learners swimming in dangerous and prohibited spots especially shrines.
Shrines are designated areas according to Tharaka community traditions, where elders pray and seek favours from a supernatural being.
They are regarded as no-go zones for the general public, including young persons and any other person whose intention is not to pray or perform traditional duties.
According to a community elder who sought anonymity, people visiting shrines to perform particular duties do so under strict guidelines and do not carry metallic objects, which are prohibited.
They believe that carrying such objects to the shrines may injure natural habitats such as trees, with people involved likely to attract curses from the gods.A team from Laikipia County searching for the body of a woman who fell and drowned in a river while taking photos at the Thomson Falls, July 27, 2020File
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