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Two bodies retrieved at Garissa -Madogo road cut-off sections

The bodies of two middle-aged men who were swept away by floods were retrieved this morning from two different spots on the washed-away Garissa-Madogo road section.

The victims perished as they tried to cross the flooded section in search of casual work in Garissa town.

A severely decomposed body of one of the victims who drowned three days ago was the first to be retrieved, and the body was removed to the Garissa referral hospital mortuary as it could not be transported in the state it was in. Both victims are from Kitui County.

According to one of the sisters, Agnes Mutheki, the deceased was trying to cross the flooded section on Tuesday morning to collect bus fare from her when he drowned.

Agnes said that their parents had sent the deceased Joseph Mutheki, 17, bus fare to travel to their rural home in Maliluni village, Mwingi County, because he could not cross over to Garissa for casual jobs after the section of the road was washed away over the weekend.

“I received a phone call from one of the deceased’s friends saying that my brother had drowned while trying to cross over, but efforts to save him failed. We spent the whole of yesterday trying to retrieve the body, but all in vain,” Agnes said.

“We went back this morning, and by around 9 a.m., we were able to find his body and manage to retrieve it,” she added.

The body was removed and taken to the Madogo Police Station for documentation before being taken to Mwingi for preservation.

Alex Njiru, a businessman who operates in Garissa and Madogo towns, said that they have made several pleas to the national government to urgently repair the destroyed section of the road, but unfortunately, the response has been disappointing.

“The government should move with speed and repair this section of the road because it’s the lifeline of Madogo residents; the majority of people make a living from Garissa town,” Njiru said.

“We risk losing more people because these young men are risking their lives by crossing the flooded section of the road in order to find something to feed their families,” he added.

On his part, Madogo MCA Juma Ali expressed fears that more bodies could be retrieved in the coming days when the flood waters recede.

Juma said that it has been six days since the road was swept away, but the response from the national government ‘was wanting’.

He said some 800 bags of rice donated by the national government some weeks ago have yet to reach flood victims in Mororo and Madogo, one of the worst-hit areas.

The MCA, who has been coordinating rescue operations using a speed boat donated by the county government, said more people are trapped inside irrigation farms up and down streams and require assistance.

According to the National El-Nino steering committee, so far, 120 people have been killed by the floods, with Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera counties being the worst hit.

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo further said that more than 89,000 households have also been displaced and are being sheltered in over 112 camps.

By Erick Kyalo

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