Thirty passengers including a six-month-old infant narrowly escaped death on Monday morning when the bus they were traveling in was swept by river Kawalase on the outskirts of Lodwar Town.
The bus belonging to Mwanake Bus company, was swept away when the driver attempted to cross the swollen seasonal river at 8am. The bus was traveling from Lodwar to Kakuma.
Lodwar town Ward Administrator Shaban Lotabo who arrived at the scene to help in rescue operations, said all the 36 passengers who were on board were rescued.
“The members of the community with support from the Kenya Red Cross officials managed to rescue all the passengers. Only one infant who is about six months sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Lodwar County Referral Hospital for medication,” said Lotabo.
He cautioned residents against crossing the river while it is flooded.
Lotabo further said police will be deployed in the area to ensure motorists do not cross the flooded river.
“We have agreed that the bus owner will facilitate the movement of the passengers to their respective destinations,” said Lotabo.
Kenya Red Cross official Rukia Abubakar commended the residents for coming to the rescue of the passengers as well as the medics from Lodwar county referral hospital who arrived at the scene to help in rescue operations.
According to one of the passengers who was in the bus Christine Wamba, the driver ignored cautions by passengers and insisted on crossing the river saying the water level was low.
“We thank God we are safe, but we are requesting that anyone who lost their property should be compensated,” she said.
She said she had travelled for eye treatment and lost her new spectacles in the accident.
Last week senior officers from the Kenya National Highways Authority led by KeNHA Board chairman Eng Wangai Ndirangu and Director General Peter Mundinia toured Kawalase bridge and expressed optimism that once completed it will help avert deaths and loss of property.