A 45-year-old man drowned Sunday in Lumakanda stream at the collapsed Aluchio Bridge that connects Lumakanda and Lugari wards in Lugari Sub County.
Leonard Libea, was with a friend when he tried crossing before he accidentally slipped into the stream and drowned as his friend fled from the scene.
The deceased’s father Joseph Angaya, a resident of Vumilia village in Munyuki sub location, said his son was returning home at about 6:30pm when the tragedy occurred.
He said he was informed of the incident by the area village elder Mr. Benson Ambuka at about 7pm but due to the darkness and the ongoing curfew he could not do anything to rescue his son.
“Our village elder came here at about 7pm and asked me if Libea had returned home, but when I went to check his house I found it locked with a padlock. That is when he told me he had received information that he had drowned in the stream,” explained Angaya.
He said at first he was not worried because his son knew how to swim and thought he was safe. However, he got concerned on Sunday morning upon realizing that he had not returned.
Angaya said together with relatives, neighbours and friends they launched a search for him along the stream and with the help of the local divers managed to find and retrieved his body.
“I am really saddened by this incident, I’m told he was with a friend who vanished from the scene after he drowned,” he said, adding that the deceased was returning home from a drinking spree from across in Lugari ward when he met his death.
Due to the government directives in efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus, police officers advised the family to swear an affidavit and bury him with only 15 people being allowed at the burial.
Lumakanda location Chief Jeremiah Simiyu urged residents to be more careful during this season of heavy rains.
The tragedy struck just about seven hours after Lugari MP Ayub Savula had commissioned construction of a new bridge at the scene.
Savula said a total of Sh10 million had been set aside for the construction of the bridge to ease communication and transport between the two wards.
Aluchio bridge collapsed two weeks ago following the heavy rains pounding the area cutting off transport between Munyama and vumilia villages in Lumakanda ward and Lumama and Shilongo villages across in the neighbouring Lugari ward.
By Sammy Mwibanda