The body of 31-year-old Dorcas Jepkemboi Chumba who drowned last month at Chepkiit waterfalls in Nandi was yesterday buried at her home in Kipsaos, in Keiyo South Elgeyo Marakwet County.
In an emotional sendoff, the family and friends eulogized Chumba as a hardworking and soft-spoken lady that death had robbed them off.
Chumba’s brother Victor Kiptoo recounted how the family camped at the waterfall for 13 days with the hope of retrieving his sister’s body for a befitting sendoff.
He narrated how desperate the search was and how the heavy rains continued to pound the area some days halting the rescue mission as the lives of the divers were also at risk.
“We were subjected to weeks of despair and anguish as efforts to retrieve the body seemed unsuccessful. Sometimes we lost hope and cried while some other days we were hopeful and prayed, but after the long search and with the help of locals and divers from various places, Chumba’s body was finally retrieved,” said Kiptoo.
The family thanked Uasin Gishu and Nandi Counties for hiring divers from Cheploch, Bomet and even the local divers who helped in the rescue operation.
Chumba’s body was found on Friday last week around two kilometers away from the waterfall.
Chumba accidentally slipped and was swept away by the raging waters while on a picnic with her boyfriend Benjamin Kazungu on August 30.
Her boyfriend Kazungu said that they had gone to the falls to enjoy the afternoon. The romantic picnic had been in their plans for long, only for it to turn tragic as Chumba while posing for photos.
The photographs Kazungu took that afternoon with his phone were the last of Chumba, the exact moment she fell into the falls still edged in his memory.
But this was not the first death case reported at the waterfall. For years, the waterfall has become a death trap claiming the lives of many young people.
Locals who have called upon the County Government of Nandi to shut down the tourist attraction site have argued that the site has claimed about two hundred lives.
Jonathan Too, a village elder who has lived in the area for decades said that at least two lives are lost at the site annually.
The locals now want the county government to secure the place through fencing and making barriers to safeguard lives from dangerous zones and providing tour guides.
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