Search continues for officer swept away in Nairobi floods

David Chesire's father has been camping at the site for almost a week now

In Summary

• Constable David Chesire is among the more than 10 people killed by the floods

• He stepped into an open manhole on March 24 as he tried to save trapped family

Constable David Chesire in a past photo-Handout
Constable David Chesire in a past photo-Handout

The search for the body of a police officer who was swept away by raging waters in Nairobi following heavy rains entered its seventh day with no results.

The family and friends of constable David Chesire are calling on the government to help them recover the body. 

Chesire was attached to Kamukunji police station in Nairobi and was swept away by floods on March 24 as he tried to rescue a trapped family.

He stepped into an open manhole and drowned.

His AK47 rifle with 30 bullets is also missing, officials said.

The friends and family on Saturday said the government has been reluctant to issue resources to help recover the body.

Nairobi Woman representative Esther Passaris visited the site Saturday, where some workers have been digging in search of the body, and expressed her displeasure with the whole exercise.

She called on the military to be deployed there to help search for the body.

“I am calling on the government to honour his life and sacrifice by doing everything possible to retrieve his body and give him a fitting send-off,” she said.

The officer’s father, Joseph Chesire, has been camping at the site for almost a week now.

“My son was always ready to help. I was welcomed warmly by people here who heard I am his father, and this showed he was a good man,” he said.

Joseph says after almost a week's search, they are yet to retrieve the body of their loved one, further accusing the government of laxity in allocating more resources to hasten the search and recovery efforts.

The officer is among more than 10 people who were killed by the floods.

Police say 11 bodies have been collected from various places following the rains.

The search for the rest is ongoing.

Kenya Red Cross said about 1,200 households had been identified as affected in various informal settlements, with Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Mukuru Kwa Reuben being among the worst hit.

Some 52 households in Kayole were evacuated to safety after their homes were submerged by floodwaters.

They are currently being hosted at Kayole-Soweto Social Hall.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja visited some of the most affected areas and directed the Nairobi Water Sewerage Company to mobilise its water bowsers to be deployed there and also provide residents with clean water.

He also ordered the public health officers and Community Health Providers to intensify on-the-ground support through the distribution of water treatment tablets and offering psychosocial support to those affected.

"I want to appeal to our fellow brothers and sisters living on riparian and flood-prone areas to heed the calls of our Disaster Management teams to move from these areas," Sakaja said.

The governor said the county government is monitoring the situation and taking necessary measures to avoid further loss of lives and property.

He said the county is working with the national government, the National Police Service and the Red Cross to offer emergency support to Nairobi residents.

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