The River of Death: Five times Enziu River has consumed human lives in Mwingi
Albanas Kiswili
1 month ago

On Saturdy November 4, 2021, Enziu River in Mwingi, Kitui County was once again in the lime light after a school bus ferring over 50 people was swept away by the heavy floods experienced in the area.

In a turn of events, the accident has already consumed 33 lives in a span of two days. 

Following the accident, Finyod digital desk has established three more occasions where the river has been the source of loss of human lives in the past four years.

2018 lorry accident:

In March 2018, four people died when a lorry carrying charcoal was swept away by the flooded River Enziu.

At the time, Mwingi East Police Chief Paul Munene said four of the truck’s eight occupants were rescued before the truck was engulfed with water.

The same year, four bodies of people who drowned at the notorious River Enziu in Kitui County were found trapped inside the car they were traveling in.

A mangled wreckage of a Toyota Probox they were travelling in was found buried 10 metres underneath the river bed after 22 days of relentless search by emergency agencies.

The victims who were two women and two young men had gone missing on April 16 after their car was swept away by the swollen River Enziu, only to be traced two weeks later.

A month later, a driver attached to the Nuu Assistant County Commissioner narrowly escaped death after he attempted to cross the swollen river.

2019 Land Cruiser 

In 2019 swept a Toyota Land cruiser that was carrying medical supplies was swallowed by the venomous river following heavy rains experienced in the area.

2020 salon car

In 2020, a mini salon car was also swept away by the monsterous river following the heavy rains experienced in the area.

“Do not cross the river when the water is above your knees, it could sweep you to your death.” Mwingi East sub county police commander Joseph Yakan was quoted saying in 2019 after yet another tragedy.

Attempts have been made to find a lasting solution with Public Works Principal Secretary Paul Maringa stating that the government would reconstruct the Enziu Bridge on the Nuu–Nguni route.
The construction of the bridge has, however, stalled since 2014.

“There have been very many incidences. Every time when it is raining, there have to be casualties. The County says that the bridge is under the National Government but has stalled since 2014,” a journalist who is in the area confirmed to a local publication.

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Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi reiterated the importance of having the Enziu bridge, observing it affected residents immeasurably and insisted that the construction of the bridge was more important than the construction of the Nuu-Nguni road.

“Although River Enziu is a water source to locals, the river has also claimed lives of locals and the call for a bridge is paramount,” Mulyungi said.

Despite all the these existing scenarios, both Kitui County government and the National government have done absolutely nothing to help locals manage this monster starring at the eyes of Mwingi residents.