Two Solai families claim one body

Roy Lumbe and  Noah Cheploen @PeopleDailyKe

There was confusion at the Nakuru county mortuary  yesterday as relatives of the Solai dam disaster identified the bodies of relatives, with two families claiming one body.

At the same time, the body of an eight-year-old  boy was yesterday recovered inside a coffee plantation at the Patel Farm, bringing the number of those who died in last Thursday’s tragedy to 47.

At the mortuary, two families  could not agree on the identity of the body a girl believed to have been about six years old.

Teresia Njeri, a survivor, said she was positive the body belonged to her daughter, Mary Wambui, who was washed away by the dam water.

“I am shocked that some people are claiming my daughter’s body. I am positive that she is my daughter,” said Njeri.

However, another family claimed the body was that of  nine-year-old Mary Wanjiku whose mother, Margaret Waithera, died in the flood.

Waithera’s father, Maina Kimani, could not make it to the mortuary to identify her daughter’s body because he is admitted at the Bahati Sub County hospital where he is nursing injuries sustained in the disaster.

DNA test

“This is the body of our child. I know how she looks and the father sent me to come and identify the body,” said Joseph Wachira, a relative.

A doctor who was among the team assisting in the identification and the postmortem of bodies said a DNA test would have to be carried out to determine the identity of the body.

“We never expected this to happen but the only way to solve the confusion is a DNA test. We shall collect samples from parents from the two families and compare them to those of the deceased,” said the doctor who requested not to be named.

Even as families identified the bodies of loved ones, the discovery of the boy’s body at the farm raised the possibility that some bodies are yet to be found.

Last week, a multi-agency committee formed to co-ordinate rescue and recovery efforts called off the search saying all the missing persons had been located. Survivors, however, insist some people are still missing.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mwongo Chimwanga, who is the chairman of the committee, told the press that the body of the boy was moved to Nakuru Level Five hospital to await identification.

Chimwanga also said a girl aged about six years is still reported missing.  Interdenominational prayers will be held tomorrow before burial later in the day.

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