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Body of businessman retrieved from River Sagana


The body of a 42-year-old businessman who drowned in river Sagana 10 days ago was retrieved on Saturday evening.

The body of Samuel Kamau Kagwanja commonly known as Chakaka was found one kilometre downstream from where his car plunged into the deep river at 11pm on May 9.

Kagwanja met the accident at the river which borders Murang’a and Kirinyaga county while he was traveling home from Murang’a.

On Saturday a multi-agency team comprising officers from the national disaster operation committee, defense forces disaster response battalion, the police and officers from the Ministry of Interior camped along the river to search for the body.

The body was found along a river bank near Mijini slums of Sagana town but the rescue team could not retrieve the ill-fated vehicle.

For the past seven days, the rescue mission faced challenges posed by raging waters with divers estimating the river depth at 60 feet.

Murang’a county disaster management officer Bilha Wanjiku said since Sunday, they have been trying to search for the body but in vain.

One of the deceased’s friends Njoroge Mwangi observed that he was in communication with Kamau prior to the accident.

“I was waiting for him at Sagana town and we were talking through the phone but the last word I heard from him was a cry for help. This prompted me to go to the Roibon hotel which is at the side of Murang’a where I was informed, he had already left towards Sagana. This made me suspect he had plunged in the river. I informed his family and the mission to search for him commenced,” lamented Mwangi.

Wanjiku said when a rescue team from the Kenya Navy arrived last Tuesday, the divers could not do much due to the high speed of the flowing water.

“The river is deep and there were heavy currents which hindered divers from getting to the bottom of the river,” added Wanjiku.

Some of the leaders who were at the scene cast doubts of finding the vehicle saying in the past several vehicles which have plunged in the river have never been found.

“Some years back, three vehicles plunged in this river and up to now they have not been traced. We want the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to redesign this bridge and also the road to save travelers’ lives,” said Murang’a MCA Isaac Chefman Njoroge.

Njoroge also called for a formation of a well trained and equipped disaster management team to serve counties of Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Kiambu saying the counties have deep rivers and the team will be readily available to save lives.

“We can’t continue waiting for rescue teams all the way from Mombasa or Nairobi. We need a local team to help in case of disaster,” he added.

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