Tharaka-Nithi rivers kill 8 pupils in 3 weeks
Three girls drowned on Sunday evening in Tharaka-Nithi County’s Kathita River, bringing the total number of primary school students who have drowned in the Tharaka constituency in the last three weeks to eight.
Confirming the 6 p.m. incident, Nkondi location chief David Kithaka said the deceased decided to swim after going to fetch water from the river.
Two of the girls were in Grade Six at Kiorimba Primary School, and one was in Grade Three at Rwatha Primary School, according to him.
“Three primary school girls from Rukurini Sub-Location on Sunday evening drowned in Kathita River while swimming,” said Mr Kithaka.
He stated that the bodies were recovered by local divers and transported to the Marimanti Level Four Hospital mortuary.
Mr Kithaka stated that the three girls left their homes with their mothers. However, as their mothers paused to converse with other women returning from church, the girls dashed to the river.
“When the women arrived at the river and could not find their daughters, they mounted a search only to find the girls’ shoes by the river bank,” he said.
He stated that the women requested assistance from the residents, who retrieved the minors’ bodies from the river.
Two 13-year-old Class Seven and Class Six girls drowned in the Kithino River in the same constituency last Sunday.
Three weeks ago, three students from Gakuyu Primary School in Kirukuma Sub-Location in the same constituency drowned in the Kathita River.
The students had walked several kilometers to Gituma Sub-Location in search of water to wash their school uniforms. All three incidents took place on Sunday.
Tharaka Member of Parliament Gitonga Murugara has urged parents to ensure that their children do not go to the river alone.
“Parents should always accompany their children to the river to avoid such incidents,” the legislator said.
Residents are now pleading with religious leaders to pray for their community.