19 March 2018

Uganda: Anti-Poverty Activist Drowns in Aruu Falls

Photo: Daily Monitor
Steven Kizza

A 24-year-old man has died after drowning in Aruu falls in Angagura Sub-county, Pader District, Police have confirmed.

According to the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Jimmy Patrick Okema, the deceased Steven Kizza, an employee of Innovation for Poverty Action [IPA] who is a resident of Entebbe town, drowned on Sunday afternoon.

He said the deceased together with his workmates were on field work in the area before they decided to have a tour at Aruu falls on Sunday.

"The deceased went for tour with his colleagues at Aruu falls on Sunday, but unfortunately he drowned in water under unclear circumstances while they were having fun," Mr Okema said.

He noted that the deceased was rushed to Angagura Health Center III for medical treatment from where he was pronounced.

Mr Okema said the body of the deceased was later taken to St Mary's Hospital Lacor mortuary for Postmortem.

What exactly happened?

Mr Bondry Kilenga, a radio presenter at Luo FM in Pader District, who was also having fun at the Aruu falls said the deceased drowned after he dived to swim at the deep end of the water.

He said the deceased swam a bit in the water but the force became much stronger for him to make it back to where his colleagues were.

"Steve dived in the water out of excitement, he swam a little and as he wanted to get back, he realized the water force was too much for him, I saw the fear in his eyes. One of the good swimmers in the group jumped in the water but was overpowered by the water. He laboured to drag Steve for five minutes but I think Steve was already dead," Mr Bondry told Daily Monitor.

He however faulted the management of the place for lacking qualified guides who can save lives of tourists at the site in case of accidents.

"If the place had a good and qualified guide, we wouldn't have lost Steven, the guide didn't know how to swim because we called him but he didn't heed to our calls," Mr Bondry said.

Police have since commenced investigations into the matter.

Past incidences

In March 2016, a 47-years-old man identified as Jackson Ocitti, a resident of Alero Trading center in Alero Sub-county, Nwoya District died after drowning in a deep well while attempting to help an elderly woman pick a water bucket that had fallen into the well.

In August 2017, a 10-year-old boy Paul Bongomin died after drowning in Pager River in Kitgum District while swimming with his colleagues.

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