The government has advised residents of Katothia village in Masinga County to keep off Masinga Dam after a crocodile killed a standard six pupil from the area on Sunday afternoon.
The incident came barely two weeks after a fisherman drowned in the same dam after the boat they were riding in capsized after being attacked by a hippo.
The 42-year-old Michael Mutinda was in the company of his colleague during the harrowing incident which took place on February 14 at around 2 am.
The deceased’s companion however, managed to survive the mishap and has been helping rescuers in searching for the body of his colleague.
The Masinga Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), John Ayienda told KNA the Sunday incident took place after the 14-year-old boy who was in the company of others went to fetch water at around 4 pm.
However, a giant crocodile all of a sudden surfaced from the depths, struck and dragged him underwater as he screamed for help.
Shocked residents who rushed to the scene could just stand and watch in shock from the banks as the reptile snuffed out the life of the teenager.
A resident, Silli Mutunga said residents now fear for their lives following frequent attacks by crocodiles and hippos that have claimed scores of lives over the years.
He blames the government for the unfortunate incident, adding they don’t have any other source of water forcing them to troop to the expansive dam in search of water at the risk of their lives.
“The people who live here are very poor lacking the very basics of life, including clean drinking water. The only reason we come to fetch water from this dam the risks of being attacked by crocodiles and hippos notwithstanding is because we have no other option,” said Mutunga, adding they have already given up hope in finding the body of their relative Mutinda.
But Ayienda blamed residents for risking the lives of the children by sending them to errands like fetching water from the dam while well aware of the looming danger.
The administrator nevertheless said a joint rescue mission led by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is still ongoing in a bid to trace the remains of the two victims.
Yesterday, the officers managed to kill one of the crocodiles suspected to have been around at the time but said it was not the one that had killed the boy.
“We wish to advise residents of this area against sending their children on errands near this dam following the rising number of people who have lost their lives to crocodiles and hippos. This is the third time for such a child to be killed by crocodiles this year alone and we would not wish such incidents to continue,” stressed the administrator.
By Samuel Maina