Tragedy struck Kwa Bullo Village in Nyali sub-county of Mombasa on Sunday, when two children died on the spot and one left nursing serious head injuries, after falling into a 14-feet-deep septic tank whose top slab caved in as they were playing.
Frantic efforts by neighbours who answered to their cries for help salvaged one child, but it was too late for the other two siblings, Salim Hamisi, 10 and Nyamawi Hamisi, 8, who died instantly.
One child, Julius Joseph, 13, escaped death narrowly and was rushed to the coast provincial general hospital for treatment after sustaining serious injuries on the head.
The incident happened when their parents were away in search of food.
Peter Asewe, one of the well-wishers who responded to the incident says the two died after the top slap fell on them, hitting them directly on the head.
The incident happened about as they were about 100 meters away from their family compound.
“I heard children shouting for help, when we rushed at the scène, we managed to use a rope to bring up one of the children who was still alive, while the two others had already died, it’s so painful for the family,” said Asewe.
Saumu Salim, 22, mother of the two siblings could not hold her tears upon learning of the sad news.
Saumu is a casual laborour and was away from home doing menial job with her husband.
“My sister called me and informed me of the incident. I was shocked because losing two children is not a simple thing. My husband and I are casual labourers and every morning we go out to look for food to feed them,” she said.
She said what they earn from menial jobs is usually not enough and appealed to well-wishers to help them bury their children at their Mariakani rural home in neighbuoring Kilifi county.
“We are poor, we don’t know where to begin now, we only pray that people will help us raise money to facilitate for their burial,” Saumu said.
Residents are worried over increasing danger during this rainy season and are now calling on builders to observe set construction guidelines to avert similar incidents in future.
Irate residents threatened to attack the developer on who built the septic tank, claiming that the tank was poorly constructed and that for several years, it has not been repaired.
“We are calling on those who are constructing this kind of tanks, to ensure they follow the laid down guidelines. Such tragedies can be avoided if people adhere to the guidelines,” said Pastor Wycliffe Anyika, a resident of Kwa Bullo Village.
By Hussein Abdullahi