A combined search has been mounted for a woman who drowned on Sunday afternoon while taking pictures with her brother at the world-famous Thomson Falls in Kenya.

Jemima Oresha was standing on a stone next to River Ewaso Narok at the bottom of the falls when she slipped and fell into it. Her brother Zablon Mungafu was taking a picture of her at the time.

Jemima Oresha poses for a picture at the Thomson Falls in Laikipia County on July 26, 2020. 

“On Sunday, she said she could not go back to Kitale before catching a glimpse of the famous tourist attraction,” said Mr Mungafu.

“When we reached the site she was very excited to see the falls. She said it was a site to behold and insisted that I take photos of her while standing on a stone next to the river, two metres from where I was.

“I had finished taking her picture and as she was returning to where I was, she slipped and fell into the river and was swept away by the raging waters as I watched. I could not do anything as the water was moving at a very high speed.”

A team from Laikipia County searches for the body of Jemima Oresham, who fell and drowned in a river while taking photos at the Thomson Falls, July 27, 2020. 

Mr Mungafu said he informed security officers at the site, who then informed police, and a rescue mission was launched.

The family has since called on Laikipia County to send more divers to help them in the search for Ms Oresha’s body.

“We appreciate the good work being done by police, Red Cross personnel and the Laikipia fire brigade but we urge the county to send more divers to the scene,” said Mr Milton Luvokha, another relative.

Nyahururu Sub-County Police Commander Geoffrey Mayek said the search was suspended on Sunday evening due to heavy rains and high water levels in the river.

Mr Mayek added, however, that they were hopeful they would find the body.

He appealed to locals living downstream to inform police should they come across the body and to be cautious near rivers and waterfalls, especially during the rainy season.

Jemima Oresha poses for a picture at the Thomson Falls in Laikipia County on July 26, 2020. She drowned while her brother took the pictures.

Thomson Falls stands 74 meters high. It is one of Kenya’s highest, at 2360 meters above sea level.

A team from Laikipia County searches for the body of Jemima Oresham, who fell and drowned in a river while taking photos at the Thomson Falls, July 27, 2020. 

The falls is a tributary of Ewaso Nyiro River, which drains from the Aberdare ranges, that form one of the pillars of the Great Rift Valley.

It is a great attraction to both local and foreign tourists.

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