Three Kenya wildlife service officers drowned in river Isukha –Kakamega

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River Isikhu, photo Dennis Avokoywa

Dennis Avokoywa, Kakamega

Operations to retrieve the bodies of three Kenya Wildlife service’s officers who yesterday drowned in river Isikhu in Kakamega County have been resumed today after yesterday’s postponement of the activity due to heavy rains witnessed in the area.

The three officers allegedly drowned in the said river while on an operation to arrest some residents who had gone to harvest sand from the flooding river.

According to our sources, the officers were manning Kakamega forest in Shinyalu sub-county when they got a tip of some residents illegally harvesting sand before they laid a strategic trap to pounce on them.

“They dove inside the water with intentions of secretly swimming and surrounding the suspects” Said Meshark Juma, an eye witness.

"Out of the four officers on patrol, 3 were overwhelmed and carried away by the flooding waters," Said another eyewitness.

In what was termed as being beaten at their own game, the area residents refused to assist the police in search of the drowned officers’ bodies accuse them of harassing them every time they got into the forest to collect firewood.

“Women found collecting firewood in the forest are raped while men are beaten or demanded to pay high fines before being released,” He claimed.

Sand harvesting is illegal in Kakamega County due to its risk factor of drowning.

So far one body has been retrieved remaining two; cheif peter mulengwa of muranda location confirmed the incidence

On the issue of the shamba system, the residents have demanded the implementation of Deputy President Rigathe Gachagua’s proposal of returning farming activities in the forest as a way of increasing food production in the country.

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