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Residents want government to collect bodies swept by floods

People living around Yala swamp in Siaya are accusing the police and health officials of laxity in collecting bodies swept into the area by the receding River Yala waters.
The residents are now calling for urgent government intervention to have the corpses collected for either preservation, or burial so as to save them from potential health risks.
According to the locals, it has become a norm to see the bodies float downstream, some of which end up being deposited into area hence posing health hazard.
Led by the Central Alego member of the county assembly, Leonard Oriaro, the locals accused the police and the public health officials of laxity in removing the bodies.
“A case in point is that of a body of a woman with a baby strapped on her back that has been at the swamp for days” lamented Oriaro who talked to the press at Kadenge Friday.
Oriaro appealed to the county and national governments to join hands and save the residents living around the wetland from potential disease outbreaks as a result of the decomposing corpses.
“The residents of Seje, Bar Olengo, Kadenge and Yimbo are no longer at peace as a result of these bodies that are not known” he said.
The MCA said that the locals were afraid of moving close to the bodies for fear of being accused of interfering with evidence, adding that in the past, people would get hold of such bodies and tie them awaiting identification.
“River Yala traverses several counties, among them Kakamega and Vihiga and the possibility that some of these bodies could be those of people who drowned upstream are high hence my appeal to the government to move with haste and collect them for preservation” he said.
Meanwhile, the residents are appealing to the government to hasten the repair of a road linking Kadenge with Yimbo that was cut off by the floods.
They lamented that people from Siaya who have some business to attend to on the other side of river Yala are forced to use canoes after the river changed its course and washed away the Siaya – Yimbo road.
By Philip Onyango

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