KWS kills crocodile suspected to have mauled a girl to death
The Kenya Wildlife Service officers on Wednesday shot dead a crocodile suspected to have mauled to death a seven-year-old girl as she fetched water at River Tana near Karura village in Embu County on Tuesday.
The reptile is said to have attacked Mawia King’ola, a standard one pupil at Karura Primary school at around 6pm, as she fetched water for her family with her colleagues.
Despite attempts by residents to rescue her by pelting stones at the reptile, it remained unmoved as it grasped the girl with its teeth, swimming away.
At one time, the number of crocodiles at the river doubled, confusing residents on which of the two had attacked the girl.
Paul Mutinda, one of the residents who helped in the rescue efforts said the crocodiles later disappeared and have since been searching for the girl’s body.
“We are not sure if the crocodile that was shot was the one that attacked the girl. Since the river has several crocodiles, we have tried unsuccessfully to search for the remains of the girl,” he said.
The girl’s father, John Mwendwa said other children who were fetching water with their daughter reported the matter and raised alarm, leading to the rescue efforts. “The mother was at that time taking cattle back home. On being informed about it she collapsed in shock,” he said.
The Kiambere MCA, Lenny Masters Mwaniki who accompanied KWS officers said he had petitioned the Embu County Government and the national power producer KenGen to supply piped water to the community to end the human-wildlife conflict.
He said residents have over the years suffered from perennial water shortages despite living on the fringes of the Seven Forks Dams and have since been risking attacks from crocodiles and hippos as they fetch water.
The incident has elicited sharp reactions from County residents who have accused the County government of sidelining the semi-arid area in supplying water.
They claimed that despite the huge allocations amounting to close to a billion in the water docket over the last five years, the county has initiated few water projects in the County.
“Despite the upper parts of the County having huge water flows from Mt. Kenya, we wonder why the county government has failed to pipe the commodity to the lower parts that have suffered from perennial water shortage,” said Mr. James Njeru, a Kiambere resident.
By Muoki Charles