Seven days after the West Pokot landslide tragedy, William Domokira, is still desperately searching for the body of one of his children who perished in the Friday, 22nd catastrophe.
Domokira who lost two children during the Friday night landslide, said with support from other recovery teams he has been searching for the body in vain.
“We managed to retrieve the body of one child from the debris, but the other is still missing to date, which is very painful, If only I can get the body of my child to bury, I would be in peace knowing they are no more,” he narrates
The grief stricken father of four said he is still hounded by the wails of help from the two children crying out to him for help as they were being washed away in the mudslide.
“I instinctively managed to save two from the rushing sludge, but hopelessly heard the wails from the other two as they were washed into the dark and the raging waters,”.
Domokira’s experience represents the pain the families of seven other missing persons in the affected villages are going through as they try to locate the bodies of their loved ones believed to have been buried during the landslide.
Speaking on Thursday while receiving food and non-food aid from the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), the victims thanked the government and the Red Cross for the quick response after the incident.
Three villages, Nyarkulian, Parua and Muino were adversely affected by the landslide that has so far claimed the lives of 43 people according to the government and displaced over 22,000 families.
However, West Pokot Governor, Prof. John Lonyangapuo, contradicts the government figure, saying 53 people died from the tragedy.
KVDA donated foodstuff and non-foodstuff worth more than Sh.700, 000. The institution also handed over Sh 10,000 to each of the nine families that were adversely affected in Muino and currently camping at Paroo Primary School.
Condoling with the families, KVDA Director, Philip Rotino, who was accompanied by KVDA Acting Managing Director (MD), Sammy Naporos, said the government should consider relocating the families who were affected to alternative settlements as they heal from the trauma.
“If the government can find an alternative land to resettle the victims, it would go a long way in assisting in the healing processes as the survivors rebuild their lives,” said Rotino.
In his remarks, the acting MD assured the residents of Sigor that KVDA will rebuild water structure at Wei-wei Irrigation Scheme that were destroyed by the landslide to normalize water supply to Wei-wei and Sigor Trading Centres as well as three learning institutions.
“The Irrigation Scheme is a vital economic lifeline for the people of the affected villages. Our contribution to helping the people revert to normalcy, KVDA will repair the water intake and the irrigation structures within the next one week to restore water services”, said Naporos.
By Kiptanui Cherono