As the country comes to terms with the tragic death of over 20 people who drowned after a bus plunged into flooded Enziu River in Mwingi, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has petitioned the national government to expedite construction of a bridge across the killer river.
Speaking when she visited the scene to coordinate rescue and recovery operations, Ngilu lamented that the river had claimed many lives over the years causing untold agony to residents.
“It is unfortunate that we lose lives in this river every rainy season. The State must break the deadly cycle by casting a proper bridge across Enziu River,” she noted.
The governor vowed to henceforth pile pressure on the national government, until an initiative is taken to avert similar accidents in future.
She also condoled with the bereaved families and affirmed her administration’s commitment to help them navigate through the painful loss of loved ones.
The victims, mostly Mwingi Catholic church choir members headed to a wedding in Nuu, drowned after the driver lost control of the 54-seater-bus midstream, Saturday, while attempting to steer across the surging waters.
Only 12 survivors, among them four children, were rescued from the ill-fated bus, which got totally submerged few minutes after falling over the edge of a narrow concrete drift constructed across the 50-meter-wide seasonal river.
Divers from the Kenya Navy and Kenya Red Cross are leading the recovery exercise.
Ngilu was among the first responders at the scene having landed aboard a Kenya Air Force Chopper.
The Governor immediately mobilized county government resources to join the joint recovery efforts by Red Cross and other government agencies.
KDF divers have since joined the recovery team at Enziu River to help recovery more bodies feared missing.
The Governor and her team are currently at the scene coordinating recovery efforts.
Ngilu also dispatched senior county officers to the Mwingi Level IV Hospital to assist in ensuring survivors receive treatment, as the affected family members and friends continued to identify bodies of the deceased.
By Yobesh Onwong’a