Moroto rivers becoming death traps for residents

Five people including a toddler drowned in different rivers in Moroto district last week. On Monday, 35-year-old, Lokwii Nabimu drowned with her one-year-old child identified as Lokol Lokiru at Apule River, just a few kilometers from Moroto town.

On Wednesday, an elderly woman from Kidepo-Pupu in Rupa Sub County also drowned at Komatheniko River on her way from trapping white-ants.

On Saturday evening, a minor only identified as Arichu was swept away at Tangadel River in Rupa Sub County while returning from grazing animals.

Dan Manjori Apollo, the Rupa sub county chairperson, says most of the victims are swept while attempting to cross the rivers as they return home.

He notes that people sometimes underestimate the speed of the flowing water and risk crossing, only to be overpowered by the water.

Peter Ongwara, the Moroto District Police Commander, says one other woman was swept away in Tapac Sub County by the fast moving rain waters.

He however, told us that police findings indicate that some locals take advantage of the flowing rivers to commit suicide. Citing Lokwii Nabimu who was swept away with her child on Monday, Ongwara said the victim developed a misunderstanding with her husband before running to drown in Apule River.

By the time of filing this story, none of the bodies had been recovered by police. Ongwara says the water flow is very fast, which makes it difficult to rescue anyone carried by water.

With sloppy terrain consisting of seasonal rivers, cases of people drowning are common in different parts of Karamoja during the rainy season. The flowing rivers don’t only sweep people but also vehicles.