LUCKY TO BE ALIVE

Fisherman spends three nights trapped in Athi River

Musila endured harsh weather without food or water since Friday

In Summary
  • He was casting his nets at night when the river suddenly flooded following heavy rain in Kajiado and Nairobi
  • The thought that the river is infested with crocodiles and hippos scared him
Vincent Musila addresses the press after he was rescued by police on Sunday
RESCUED: Vincent Musila addresses the press after he was rescued by police on Sunday
Image: JOHN KAMAU

When Vincent Musila left his home in Ol Donyo Sabuk in Machakos county on a fishing mission in River Athi on Friday night, he hoped to return home with a bountiful catch.

Little did he suspect the misfortune awaiting him.

Musila, a fisherman, as usual arrived at the river near Fourteen Falls around 9pm and used his canoe to cross to an island where he started laying his nets.

At that time there was no rain and the water was at normal levels.

As cast his nets he suddenly heard the sounds of rushing waters from upstream. In no time the river was swollen and began bursting its banks thanks to the heavy rain in Kajiado, Ngong and Nairobi.

“The sound of the raging waters was scary. All of a sudden there were huge waves of water running downstream and the river was swollen. I thought that was my last moment alive but luckily the water didn’t cover the island,” Musila said.

He spoke to journalists after being rescued on Sunday. Since Friday night, he endured the harsh weather without food or water for three days.

Mosquitoes didn’t spare him either and cries of wild animals scared the hell out of him.

“Again, the thought that the river is usually infested with crocodiles and hippos froze me. I hadn’t taken any food or water but attempts by residents to rescue me gave me hopes of clinging on to my life,” Musila said.

Residents put up spirited efforts to rescue him but all was futile. The efforts of rescue officers from Thika were thwarted by the raging water.

 

“We tried using ropes but the waves were too strong and we couldn’t risk losing him to the waters. We tried our best," resident Daniel Munyao said.

Ngoliba MCA Joachim Mwangi and Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro notified the Interior Ministry that sent a police helicopter to save Musila.

He was airlifted to safety on Sunday evening.

“I thank the government for saving my life and I urge my fellow fishermen not to dare go close to the river because it’s a death trap now. I thought I’d die but I am alive now and for that reason ill go to church and get saved,” an elated Musila said.

MCA Mwangi warned residents of Gichiiki and Chereni villages to move from the banks of River Athi so as to avert similar incidents.