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Dams killing people in Lira

By Hudson Apunyo

Added 11th December 2018 10:12 AM

Shaban Omonya, a resident of Bar Onger village in Railway Division, Lira municipality went fishing on Sunday evening in a dam located at Atego B village, Anyomorem Parish in Ngetta sub-county, outside Lira town. He never came back.

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Shaban Omonya, a resident of Bar Onger village in Railway Division, Lira municipality went fishing on Sunday evening in a dam located at Atego B village, Anyomorem Parish in Ngetta sub-county, outside Lira town. He never came back.

ACCIDENT   DROWN   DAM  LIRA

Joined together at the altar, a couple met the same fate in death.

While it may have been an ordinary accident for one to drown in any water body, a man drowned in a Lira dam, exactly four years after his wife drowned.

Shaban Omonya, a resident of Bar Onger village in Railway Division, Lira municipality went fishing on Sunday evening in a dam located at Atego B village, Anyomorem Parish in Ngetta sub-county, outside Lira town. He never came back.

 People surround the dam as the search goes on

His wife, Catherine Omonya, drowned after falling in a river in 2014. The vehicle in which she was travelling overturned and, while others escaped with minor injuries, she rolled and fell into the river and died, leaving behind two children.

Frantic efforts are now being made in a dam in Lira to recover her husband, who is believed to be dead by now. Several divers some dressed in life jackets tried for several hours since Sunday evening looking for the body in vain.

 Frantic efforts in search of the body

Hundreds of people gathered at the dam as they sang worship songs and a man said to be an expert from Amolatar tries to locate the body.

The search for the body started Sunday evening, and went up to late at night only to resume at dawn on Monday.

Omonya is said to have gone to the dam, picked a canoe and sailed round the dam which measures about the size of a football pitch and later brought the canoe back. Then he went in swimming.

 Swimmers take time to search in every corner of the dam

His colleagues say after swimming, he stood on a fish cage and told his friends to take pictures. In what turned out to be a farewell moment for him and his friends, he told them to take many pictures before he dived back into the water.

Mike Adoko, a resident raised the concern that Omonya is not the first one to drown in the dam, and may not be the last one, if the authorities do not take action.

He said the dam has become useless, only killing people and should be fenced.  The dam is managed by Lango Aged Foundation (LADAF).

 People waiting for the body

Abel Oyugi, a care taker of the dam working with LADAF, says there are three huge dams at the place. He said people are drowning in the dams every year. He said they had sent requisition to the district leadership to have the dams fenced, but this has delayed.

 Abel Oyugi, a care taker of the dam working with Lango Aged Foundation LADAF

Mavin Kawere, the chairperson of Railway Division, said three people from his area have died in the water in the last one year.

 Halima Amolo, a younger sister of Omonya fainted as she explained how her brother Shaban Omonya disappeared in the Atego Dam on Sunday evening 

Efforts to get comments from district officials was futile as they were said to be having function to mark 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

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