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UNTAMED WEATHER

Truck driver escapes death narrowly as rains wreak havoc in Turkana

In Summary

• The driver was trying to cross a flooded river near Lodwar.

• Rains have been pounded the county region for two weeks after months of drought. 

Commuters and businessmen at the banks of the swollen River Kawalase
STRANDED: Commuters and businessmen at the banks of the swollen River Kawalase
Image: Hesborn Etyang

A truck driver and his five passengers escaped death narrowly after their vehicle was swept away by the swollen Kawalase river at Lodwar in Turkana.

The driver underestimated the force of the waters and tried to cross the seasonal river, witness Robert Macleo told the Star yesterday.

The rains, which have been pounding the area for nearly two weeks, have wreaked havoc with transport severely disrupted. 

 

Kawalase river has burst its banks and commuters are stranded. Business people are counting losses. 

Macleo said, "It was around 4pm when the driver tried to cross the flooded river. The vehicle overturned and was swept away. I have camped here since morning because the river is full and I can't cross to the other side to attend to my daily chores. " 

The driver and the passengers were rescued by divers.

Lodwar resident Shadrack Lobolia said Kawalase river has for many years been a challenge when it rains. It has claimed many people's lives and livestock. Properties of those near the banks are destroyed when it floods.

Lobolia urged the national government and the contractor to speed up the ongoing construction of the road to the border with South Sudan to ease the problem. 

Lodwar market fish dealer Caroline Hellena said the flooded river has adversely affected her business. She is unable to get fish from Lake Turkana.

"We face a big problem when the rains fall because Kawalase river bursts its banks. We are unable to get fish.  I depend on fish business to feed my children and pay their fees," she said.