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The scorching sun forced the children to go for a tragic swim

Residents of Kamito Village are still grappling with the loss of two grade three pupils who drowned last Wednesday at a local stream in their attempt to cool themselves after heat waves reached alarming levels due to the effects of climate change.

The pupils from Kodongou Primary School met their sudden deaths while swimming at Kwilitei Stream as temperatures due to the intensity of the scorching sun forced youngsters to go to swim in the stream to quench their thirst and heat.

“My grandchild arrived from school as usual and changed his uniform, took lunch and went to play with her peers. At around 4 pm I received the shocking news that my grandson and his friend had drowned in the river,” narrated Ms. Jane Opata, the grandmother to Isaac Ruto who perished together with his friend Elias Rotich, both aged 10 years.

The devastated grandmother said she never expected such a sudden turn of events because she has always been keen to know the whereabouts of her grandchildren. The residents have observed that there have been frequent visits by children to the stream owing to the current scorching sun.

“I was told that two children had drowned while swimming and together with other neighbours we rushed to the scene. We removed the children from the river but unfortunately, it was late since they were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital,” stated Andrew Losemem.

He noted that children playing at the stream have become more frequent due to the increasing heat, prompting parents and guardians to be vigilant. The speaker emphasized the importance of residents being cooperative during the dry and hot seasons, as swimming is rare during cold seasons.

“It is sad to lose such young lives to drowning. We call upon parents to stop sending or allowing their children to go to the rivers unguided since the tragedy happened because there was no elderly person around to save the children,” he appealed.

He explained that the stream is around eight feet deep and that it seemed the two children struggled to come out of the water unsuccessfully. The stream that claimed the lives of the children has also claimed several livestock at the same location where the children were killed.

The residents have appealed to relevant authorities to address the issue of water shortage, mentioning that the stream has become a threat to their lives because they have no other option for hundreds thronging the place to fetch water for both domestic and livestock use.

The bodies of the two young boys who were very close friends are lying at Kapenguria County Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary with burial arrangements of the two families ongoing.

By Richard Muhambe

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