Tragedy as form three girl drowns in Chania River while taking selfie

Grief has stricken a family in Gwa Kamunyu village in Gatundu North, Kiambu County after their 16-year-old daughter drowned in the Chania River.

Rosemary Njeri, a Form three girl at St Joseph Ndithini secondary school in Machakos is said to have slipped into the river while taking a selfie on Tuesday evening. She was in the company of two other girls.

The girls raised an alarm prompting a search and rescue mission by the locals which was however hampered by darkness and huge boulders in the river.

According to her grandfather Pastor Njau wa Sam, the deceased had earlier packed her possessions as she prepared to report back to school on Wednesday morning before she joined the other two girls for a photo session at the river.

“They left for the river in the evening to take photos. We were alerted by her friends that she had slipped into the river while taking a selfie,” the grandfather said.

“We couldn’t rescue her because it was already dark and the location where she fell is highly dangerous, deep and with huge rocks, Njau said. We are pained by the untimely death of such a young girl who had big dreams of excelling in her studies and later helping out her mother.”

The locals on Wednesday camped at the River in search of the girl’s body, a task that proved tedious due to the huge boulders at the site and lack of proper gear by the locals to dive into the deep waters.

“We don’t have the proper gear or expertise to get into the waters. We fear that we might also slip and get trapped in the huge rocks,” said Daniel Gitau, one of the youths leading the search mission.

The residents claimed that the spot, which has an attractive scenery, has been a death trap noting that two years ago another resident lost his life after slipping and drowning in the river. He was a teacher and he fell into the river while crossing to the other ridge. “Retrieving his body took weeks because it was trapped under the rocks which a very risky,” said resident Hannah Wairimu.

Wairimu cautioned youths and school-going children in the area to avoid visiting the area alone to avoid such tragedies. The residents pleaded with the local authorities including the Kiambu County Government to intervene and help retrieve the girl’s body. They also called for the construction of a proper bridge across the river noting that they have been risking their lives crossing the river through the huge boulders.

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