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KDF retrieve bodies of two girls who drowned in a pool of neglected quarry in Kisii Estate.

The bodies of the two girls who drowned yesterday in a pool of water from a neglected quarry near Thika Barracks Primary School have been retrieved by Kenya Defense Force (KDF) Rapid Response Unit.

In an exercise that ended at around 9am on Sunday, the bodies of the two aged 13 and 11 were later taken to General Kago Road Funeral Home in Thika.

(Related story: KDF soldier, two sons drown in an open pool at Makongeni area)

The two, who all reside at Kisii Estate, are said to have met their death after they decided to swim in the 12-feet deep abandoned quarry which was said to have been left empty by a private developer.

It is alleged that one of the girls was the first to drown and as her colleague attempted to rescue her, she too got overwhelmed and drowned.

Their bodies spent the night at the pool before the KDF team from Nairobi arrived on Sunday morning and successfully retrieved the two.

The incident comes barely 3 days after another on that occurred just a short distance inside Thika Barracks where a KDF soldier and his two sons perished in a similar fashion.

Earlier this week, a similar incident happened in Witeithie area where a boy is said to have drowned as he swam in a pool of a neglected quarry.

It is no longer an open secret in both Thika and Juja where private investors have been abandoning dangerous quarries after harvesting murram and machine-cut stones, especially in Komo, Kiganjo, Witeithie and Ndarugu areas.

Quite a good number of these pits are so close to residential areas in total disregard for people’s safety and the environment.

(See also: For How Long Will These People Suffer?)

These areas have witnessed various quarry accidents and health complaints associated with quarrying activities which have not been addressed. Deaths in abandoned and inactive mines occur regularly. Drowning especially among the young kids is the number one cause of death in these abandoned quarries.

More significantly, they result to the degradation of land, drainage problems and visual intrusion because many are not rehabilitated after use. Falls are also deadly. The rocks of quarries that have already been harvested are highly unstable since they are usually fractured by the blasting and machine activity. A person’s weight will easily destabilise an entire face of rock leading to a fatal fall.

Some of these deaths and injuries can be prevented if citizens know the danger of these mines. The authorities should compel these stone harvesters to make better efforts to warn people of the dangers and limit access to these facilities. The county government should also prepare policies to govern reclaiming or regulating of quarries.

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