Child drowns after river overflows its banks due to heavy rains

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Photo Credit: Mukasa Kivumbi. Residents placing a tree as one of the rituals to recover the body of the deceased.

By Mukasa Kivumbi, Bukedde/NECJOGHA Correspondent, BUIKWE

Kampala, Uganda: A child’s dead body has been recovered after he drowned in a river in central Uganda which overflowed its banks due to the current heavy rains.

The deceased child is Gift Bugulwa (12) son to Christine Nafula of Nakalasa- Kibaati village in Mukono district.  His father Alex Kayanja at present is in Saudi Arabia where he is working.

According to resident of the area, Bugulwa drowned in River Ssezibwa which divides the two central Uganda districts of Kayunga and Mukono when he attempted to swim in the river but was overpowered and carried away by the now strong water due to the heavy rains going on.

The area local council chairman of the village, Francis Taabu said its residents who had come to collect water who saw Bugulwa’s clothes who sounded an alarm and a search for the deceased begun. He said they have always been trying to stop children from swimming in the river during these times when it’s very turbulent but some children sneak into the river and swim.

During the search, several rituals were done which residents claimed would help to quickly recover the body including perching the deceased’s clothes on a tall pole which they planted in the river. Nafula, the mother of the dead boy was also told to sit with her feet in the water as she called her son’s names.

Residents failed to recover the body on the first day and when police came to the scene they didn’t have the diving gear and promised to call for the police divers from Kampala. However, the body was recovered by the residents the next day without assistance of the police.

Though the expected rain in April failed, the month of May has been characterised by heavy rains. Last week, seven people from two different families in the central Uganda district of Wakiso, died after they were killed by perimeter wall fences which collapsed during heavy rains.

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