Hippos and crocodiles attack Masinga residents
Hundreds of Ekalakala residents in Masinga sub-county have decried constant attacks by hippos and crocodiles that have led to loss of many lives and massive destruction of crops.
The irate residents said Masinga Dam has slowly become a death trap, since hardly a month passes without a case of death being reported in the dam that acts as the water reservoir for the national power generating company, KenGen.
Speaking during a highly charged meeting at Ekalakala market attended by the area Deputy County Commissioner John Ayenda on Wednesday, the residents called on KenGen to take responsibility by compensating victims of the attacks.
They recounted a recent incident in which a Standard Seven pupil from Isyukoni Primary School drowned, while swimming in the dam in the company of other children.
Previously, a badly mutilated body of a standard six boy from Katothia in Masinga was recovered on the shores of the dam, seven days after he went missing.
Meanwhile, a fisherman from the same village is still missing after his boat overturned recently when he was hit by a hippo while fishing. His colleague escaped death narrowly as he swam out.
Theirs add to the number of victims who have died this year alone, while crossing River Tana as it flows to the dam to the other parts of Murang’a and Embu counties, an area that is only served by one boat.
Worse still, many others have met their deaths over the years while fishing, swimming or doing irrigation in their farms along the dam.
The residents led by youth leader Patrick Kyalo, Rev. Patrick Mbuvi, Pastor Jackson Mutie and Beatrice Wanza said the dam had become a death trap and little effort was being made to protect the residents.
They said Kenya Wildlife Services officials dragged compensation cases or avoided the cases all together.
“We are all alone in this danger. We can’t avoid the dam since our area is dry and we depend on its waters for domestic use. We need the relevant authorities to take charge and help in compensation,” said Kyalo.
On his part, the deputy county commissioner advised residents to avoid the dam if necessary as it was the home to some dangerous animals.