Garissa Drowned Victims Retrieved
After two days of agonizing search, the bodies of three teenage boys who drowned on Tuesday evening while swimming in the swollen river Tana have been retrieved.
Garissa OCPD Aron Moriasi told KNA in his office on Thursday that the bodies of Abdullahi Muhumed Mohamed (12), Abdinajib Mohamed Hassan (18) both brothers and that of their neighbour Rilwan Abdinassir Ahmed (13) were retrieved between 2.45 pm and 5.50 pm last evening.
“After one and half days of searching, we managed to retrieve the bodies with the help of some local divers using boats. The bodies were intact,” Moriasi said.
Moriasi said the police preliminary investigations indicated that the three were swimming in the river when one of them started drowning. “The other two in quick succession tried to rescue their colleagues but in the process also drowned. It’s such a tragic incident that we have lost the lives of three teenage boys,” he said.
The OCPD advised parents to dissuade their children from going close to the river now that it’s swollen because of the heavy rains pounding most parts of the country.
“The river is infested with crocodiles. It’s even more dangerous because you cannot spot them,” he said.
The bodies were handed over to the families who interred them in accordance with the Islamic burial rites.
The incident attracted hundreds of relatives, friends and curious onlookers over the past two days who gathered on both sides of the river to witness the search of the bodies.
Garissa governor Nathif Jama and Garissa township parliamentary aspirant on wiper ticket Farah Maalim joined and condoled the family. The families were too traumatized and declined to speak to the press.
But according to an eye witness account who requested anonymity, the teenage boys were warned the previous day before the tragedy took place against venturing into the area because the river was swollen.
A group of boys have been swimming in the area when the water levels had receded during the height of the drought.
“But when the water levels rose, we tried to warn the boys not venture into the area because the water levels had risen and it was dangerous to swim but they defied our advice,” said the witness.
“These are small boys who did not understand us. It was sad to see the boys fight for their lives. We watched helplessly,” he added.
By Jacob Songok