(One of the Hells Gate National Park gorges often traversed by adventure tourists)
News of a tragic accident emerged on Sunday when it became known that a church group of young men and women on a day retreat yesterday morning to the Hells Gate National Park near Naivasha got trapped in a gorge by flash floods and several of them were drowned as the raging waters carried them away beyond the help of their guides and mates. As many as 10 members of the group were initially reported missing and at least one body had been retrieved by rescuers sent to the scene by KWS and other volunteers like the Kenya Red Cross, but hopes to find any further survivors were deemed slim at best. Rescuers were working deep into Sunday night and will resume their recovery efforts again at first light on Monday morning.
Kenya as well as other parts of Eastern Africa have been hit in recent days by freak storms and way above average rainfall and rain and flood related deaths have been reported from other parts of Kenya too over the weekend, underscoring how serious the weather conditions have become. Hundreds of people have been rendered homeless as their houses were flooded or washed away. Mike Rainy, a friend who has lived for the past two decades outside the Kenyan town of Kajiado in the Melepo Hills, described the weekends storms as the heaviest rains he had ever seen since taking up residence there and safari operators in parks and game reserves affected by the heavy rains have reportedly advised their drivers and safari clients to be prepared for very poor road conditions in sections of the parks.