West Pokot: Two men die while removing a bucket from borehole

West Pokot: Two men die while removing a bucket from borehole

Grief gripped residents of Lityei area, Makutano Township, in West Pokot County after two men died on Tuesday May 28, 2024 at Mathare slums while removing a rope and bucket from a borehole.

The two died inside a 50 feet deep borehole in a homestead at Mathare slums in Lityei area.

The incident happened at 12 pm at Charles Kariuki’s home where the duo who are said to be drunk died due to lack of oxygen.

According to area residents, the first victim who was a known borehole digger wanted to be paid Ksh 200 for removing the bucket from the borehole but he drowned in the process.

The second victim identified as Joseph Rotich aged 27 demanded Ksh 5000 to retrieve the body of the first victim but he also ended up drowning.

The bodies had not been retrieved since rescuers and the county disaster teams were unable to remove them due to lack of appropriate equipment.

The borehole where the two men died. Photo/TV47
The borehole where the two men died. Photo/TV47

According to Helen Cheptum, a wife to Mr Kariuki,  the rope of the borehole with the bucket dropped inside the borehole on Monday, making them unable to access water.

Ms Cheptum said that she fetched water for use at the neighbors homestead.

“I went to borrow water from a neighbor and used it for that day,” she said.

On Tuesday morning, Ms Cheptum, met with Johnny, (now deceased) together with his colleague along the road and informed him about the bucket and rope that had dropped inside the borehole.

She explained that the two offered to help her remove the bucket from the borehole at a fee.

“I told him that I don’t have money till the following day but he said give me 200 bob or even he can do it for free. He entered the borehole, and then came out. I told him not to enter if he feels some risk.  His colleague told him not to enter but he again entered the borehole,” she explained.

“He insisted on removing the bucket saying they were from far. His friend advised him not to enter the borehole but he refused,” adds Ms Cheptum.

She narrates that Johny, a Ugandan, tried to retrieve the items from the borehole in vain.

“I was at the door and heard the sound of him falling. I heard the second also died when I was hidden behind the toilet because of fear.I rushed to the neighbor to come for the rescue and we called the police,” she said.

According to residents, there have been many cases of people dying in boreholes within West Pokot as the County Government disaster team failed to respond on time.

Ibrahim Musa, a resident, blamed the security team for contributing to the death of the second person by allowing him to enter the killer borehole at the expense of money yet he was not an expert.

“The security team asked for any volunteer to enter the borehole and one agreed to enter so that he could pay Ksh5000  to retrieve the body. They are the ones to blame, they chased us away, yet we had inputs that could have helped,” he said.

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