Pupils Drown After Travelling Kilometers for Water

  • An image of a hand of a drowning child emerging from the water.
    An image of a hand of a drowning child emerging from the water.
    File
  • Families of three in Murang'a County are mourning the death of their children who drowned after walking for kilometers in search of water.

    The three pupils travelled from Kirukuma Sub-location to Kathita River in Tharaka Nithi County to wash their school uniforms ahead of school reopening slated for Monday, September 26.

    When they arrived at the river's banks on Saturday, September 24, the three drowned while trying to cross to the other side.

    Confirming the incident, Gituma Location chief Kibaara Muthungu noted that the three were aged between 10 years and 13 years. Their colleague managed to swim to the banks before alerting locals.

    A section of River Kathita in Tharaka Nithi County
    A section of River Kathita in Tharaka Nithi County.
    Daily Nation

    "The pupils from the neighbouring Kirukuma Sub-Location had come to wash their school uniform and bags when they drowned.

    “Several permanent and seasonal rivers traverse our region including Tana River but people still suffer from lack of water unless those near rivers who are also at risk of drowning or even attacked by crocodiles or hippopotamus,” the chief told Nation.

    About 4 million Kenyans in the Eastern and Northern Kenya have been affected by drought for the last three years due to an acute shortage of rainfall.

    Latest report by ReliefWeb released in April 2022 indicated that about 1.4 million animals have died as the drought situation worsens.

    In the affected regions, herders travel as far as 30kms in search of water and pastures for their animals.

    "We are suffering the consequences of changed weather patterns caused, most believe, by climate change. Vulnerable families are at risk of starvation, and the most affected are children aged under five, the elderly, and breastfeeding mothers.

    "It’s very worrying when even camels, known for their ability to survive in extremely hot and dry conditions, are struggling to survive," stated Concern’s Kenya Country Director Arshad Muhammad.

    Most of the families depend exclusively on food aid which is not enough.

    Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua will on Monday, September 26, convene a crisis meeting to harmonise interventions aimed at mitigating the effects of the biting drought.

    Cattle from six counties that have been affected by the drought arrive at the Kenya Meat Commission on February 8, 2017.
    Cattle from six counties that have been affected by the drought arrive at the Kenya Meat Commission on February 8, 2017.
    File
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