A man identified as Kasawila Samuel Kudakwache Lupwayi is confirmed to have drowned in a canal during the rains of second January that hit the capital city.
The incident happened in Lilongwe’s Area 3, at a place where Lilongwe City Council is digging a canal across an alley running from the southern side of National Bank towards Malawi News Agency offices.
An eye witness who opted for anonymity said: “I saw a man coming from the side of the national bank. He was crossing to this side. The water was at the waist level. So I called one of the salesmen to come and see what was happening. Then the man stepped one step ahead; the water was at the neck and within a second he disappeared.”
The drain which the city council is digging connects to an underground tunnel outside the shops close to the place where the drain is being dug. The underground tunnel runs down to the Shoprite area.
“So we called the fire brigade within 20 minutes. They came and opened one septic tank, they didn’t see anything. They went also to another tank that side, they didn’t find anything, so they said they would come after the rain because it was still raining. So next day in the morning we just heard that the guy had been found in the area around Shoprite but was already dead,” explained the anonymous source.
But on Wednesday, six days after the incident, shop owners and vendors who sell various items around the place said a bad smell was coming from the septic tank and they thought it is the person that they had seen drowning. When they opened it they could not see clearly as to whether what they saw in the tank was really a person. Thursday morning dawned to the news that there was really a dead man at the septic tank after it had been excavated during the night by persons responsible.
In an interview on Thursday Lilongwe police spokesperson, Joseph Kachikho, said the police did not receive any report about the man who was found dead at the Shoprite area. Kachikho however said police identified the man who was found in the tank as Blantyre based businessman who had come to Lilongwe to inspect his house which is being constructed at Biwi.
He said: “People should avoid crossing on waters even if it appears to be shallow because the place where Lupwayi stepped appeared to be shallow but when he stepped in, he was carried away by the water.”
Lupwayi who hailed from Jeila, T/A Chikulamayembe in Rumphi district was born on 18 June, 1972.
People who work around the place have faulted the city council for not putting any sign to indicate that people should not use the passage despite requests made to them.
“So these guys from the city came. On the third of January they were still working but they put no warning. So what was happening is that when people want to cross, the people of the shops close by were shouting ‘don’t cross.’ So on the third nothing, on fourth nothing, fifth, sixth…It is today that they have put the tape,” explained further the anonymous source.
“They dug a drain and they put no any sign around the drain. When the rains came, it filled with water,” said another eye witness, Lyson Nangoma.
Vendors who do their businesses around the place closed the hole that connects the drain being dug to the underground tunnel to prevent a similar incident when they saw that no safety tape was put by the people who were digging the drain.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :