The Star (Nairobi)

1 September 2014

Kenya: Grief in Budalangi As Villagers Mourn Missing Relatives Three Days After Boat Tragedy

Grief has gripped residents of Nalera- Siginga village in Budalang'i after hope of finding any survivor of the boat tragedy dimmed three days into the search that is turning futile.

By Monday, only one body had been recovered with rescuers intensifying the search of missing bodies following the Saturday's accident between Port Victoria and Mau Mau.

Villagers said 19 people were in the fateful boat with only two surviving. 13 came from Bunyala South and five from Bunyala North.

The boat was overloaded with four motorcycles, four bicycle and five bags of maize before it capsized.

The families of the dead and those who were rescued are still camping at the scene to conform to tradition that mandates them to stay at the river bank until all the bodies have been recovered.

Those still missing include the operators of the boat Brian Olobo and Vitalis Olobo, both Form Three students at St John Osogo Secondary School.

The other victims were identified as Joyce Ojiambo Ndege, Fred Obudia, Godric Onamu, Shadrack Ojwang, Fredrine Akochi, Scovia Abung'u and Dan Ogutu. Among the dead were three siblings, Fredrine Akochi, Shadrack Ojwang and Scovia Abungu.

Vivian Kaka the mother of the boat operator Brian Olobo said she wants to see the body of her only son. Standing with Vivian by the riverside waiting for the body of her Vitalis Olobo was Evalyne Nakhulo. Vitalis Olobo was Brian's classmate.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong led the County team in availing the rescue team and families of the dead and survivors with humanitarian support.

The Governor was in the company of Busia County Assembly Speaker Bernard Wamalwa, County Executives Hillary Makhulu (Trade) and Gregory Odeke (Roads and Disaster Management) and Chief Officer for Education and Vocational Training Joel Barua. Funyula MP Paul Otuoma also visited the tragedy site.

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