Two boys drown days before graduation into adulthood in Kericho

The Sondu Mirie river where river Cheptangat is a tributary of PHOTO COURTESY

Kericho,KENYA:A somber mood engulfed Cheptuiyet location, Kericho county Tuesday following the death of two boys who drowned in a river the area.

The two boys were in the company of 13 other boys who had gone to swim in Chemangat River a tributary of river Sondu Mirie which drains into Lake Victoria .

The two have been identified as 14 year old Dennis Cheruiyot and 13 year old Gideon Kipkoech both pupils at Cheptuiyet primary school .

Area chief Paul Ruto told Baraka FM on phone the initiates had gone to swim as they were in their final stages of their initiation into adulthood.

Ruto added that the incident happened at 12pm.

“They were 13 in number and they have been together in the forest after undergoing initiation. We are now searching for the bodies. An elder boy who had accompanied the boys cannot be traced for now, “said the area chief.

Veterinary officer Ibarihim Rono who works in the area said the boys were not well conversant with swimming and that might have caused the drowning.

“Not everyone can swim the the part of the river where they have drowned as it is almost 60 metres deep. “said Ibrahim.

The boys were to graduate next week Wednesday on Christmas day after spending a month and half in the forest according to ‘Tumdo’ a Kipsigis tradition.

Initiation among boys “keeba tumdo” in Kalenjin is considered the most important stage in life of which one has to undergo after attaining the age of 14.

One could spend atleast one month in the camp mencho where he is trained for adulthood while learning tribal customs and secrets rituals of the tribe.

The rites are normally performed in the month of November and December during the long school holiday.