DEPUTY PRINCIPAL

Teacher, two sons drown in River Sagana

They were overwhelmed by the fast water and the canoe capsized midway.

In Summary
  • The father and two sons were visiting their farm at Thangathi village that borders Kirinyaga county.
  • A canoe they were using to cross the river capsized.
Divers and members of Murang'a fire brigade search for bodies of three victims on River Sagana
TRAGEDY: Divers and members of Murang'a fire brigade search for bodies of three victims on River Sagana
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

A cloud of grief engulfed Kandundu village near Murang’a town after three members of a family drowned in River Sagana on Tuesday.

The father and two sons were visiting their farm in Thangathi village that borders Kirinyaga county when a canoe they were using to cross the river capsized.

 

Stephen Weru, 45, Elvis Maina, 11, and Collins Njega, 17, decided to access their farm from Kirinyaga county to avoid using a rocky road leading to the farm from the Murang’a-Sagana road.

 

The three passed through Riandira village and parked their car at the banks of River Sagana to get on a canoe.

They were, however, overwhelmed by the fast waters and the canoe capsized midway.

Weru’s farmhand who was working near the scene of the incident is said to have heard their screams and rushed to the river as he raised the alarm. Neighbours ran to the river bank but could not save them.

Weru was a deputy principal at Karema-ini Secondary School while his son Njega was a Form Three student at Kerugoya Boys High School. Maina was a Class Six pupil at Technology Primary School.

Red Cross regional manager Mugambi Gitonga who spearheaded efforts to retrieve the bodies said the area is a danger zone as many of the locals do not know how to steer the canoes.

Divers from the organization working together with Murang’a fire brigade managed to retrieve two bodies on the same day while one was recovered on Wednesday.

Mugambi asked Murang’a and Kirinyaga security teams to stop the usage of canoes along the river saying they put the lives of locals at risk.

 

Mugambi said footbridges should be constructed by the two county governments to make it safer for locals to cross the river.

“It is very risky to use the canoes as most of the users barely know how to use them and the river is about 20 feet deep,” he said.

The death of the three was a major loss to their family and the community, Mugambi said.

Red Cross was providing counsellors for Weru’s wife and daughter to help them cope with the tragedy.

Their bodies were taken to Jamii Nursing Home mortuary in Karatina, Nyeri, and will be buried on Wednesday in Mathira.

Edited by Henry Makori