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Killer Gorge in Hell’s Gate National Park Closed after 7 killed

“The gorge in Hell’s Gate has been closed to the public with immediate effect due to the continuing rains,” said Paul Udoto

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Killer, Gorge, Kenya
A search for for the body of a missing tourist was underway Monday, after the recovery of six. Pixabay

BY GEOFFREY ISAYA

The killer Ol-Jorowa gorge in Hell’s Gate National Park has been closed indefinitely following the deaths of seven people, among them six tourists who were swept away by flash floods on Sunday, authorities said. Killer

A search for for the body of a missing tourist was underway Monday, after the recovery of six.

“The gorge in Hell’s Gate has been closed to the public with immediate effect due to the continuing rains,” said Paul Udoto, from KWS Communications Department.

He also confirmed the recovery of six bodies, “One tourist still missing as six bodies have been found in the tragic incident involving tourists exploring the gorges in Hell’s Gate National Park.”

Killer, Gorge, Kenya
The killer Ol-Jorowa gorge in Hell’s Gate National Park has been closed indefinitely following the deaths of seven people, among them six tourists who were swept away by flash floods on Sunday, authorities said. Pixabay

Some of the bodies were recovered on Sunday night and others Monday morning.He also confirmed the recovery of six bodies, “One tourist still missing as six bodies have been found in the tragic incident involving tourists exploring the gorges in Hell’s Gate National Park.”

The tourists were washed away alongside their tour guide as they explored the gorge in Hell’s Gate, where 2003 film “Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” was shot on location.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of those who died in the tragedy,” Udoto said, in announcing the indefinite closure of the famous gorge in the park that is preferred by tourists.

Seven years ago, seven members of a church group–the Pentecostal Church of East Africa (PCEA)–died when they were washed away by floods at Ol Jorwa, a dangerous area with gorges in the park, prone to flash floods during the rainy season.

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“It does not have to rain in Hell’s Gate, whenever it is raining in the surrounding areas of Longonot Mountain, flash floods will always occur and they are very dangerous,” another official who was involved in the search and rescue of the church members in 2012 said.

Hell’s Gate, which received its name from 19th-century explorers, is around 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and just south of Lake Naivasha.

Its spectacular scenery inspired the Disney animation “The Lion King”.

The park, established in 1984, is also home to three geothermal stations.

Next Story

Kenya Vows to Cut Emissions as Cooking with Traditional Fuels Kills More than 21,500 Each Year

The health risks were greatest in rural areas, where 90% of households use wood stoves, compared to 70% nationwide, Kenya's first household survey

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Kenya, Emissions, Fuels
A trailer drives along the main Nairobi/Mombasa highway past sacks of charcoal, used for domestic cooking in many Kenyan homes, in Kibwezi. June 20, 2014. VOA

More than 21,500 Kenyans die each year from cooking with traditional fuels like charcoal and firewood, new government data showed on Tuesday, as authorities pledged to meet a global goal of universal access to clean cooking energy by 2030. Kenya.

The health risks were greatest in rural areas, where 90% of households use wood stoves, compared to 70% nationwide, Kenya’s first household survey on energy usage in cooking by the energy ministry and the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya found.

It also found that 80% of households relied solely on either charcoal or firewood as their primary cooking fuel, with 68 billion shillings ($660 million) of charcoal consumed each year.

Kenya’s energy minister Charles Keter said the situation was “grave” and called for more focus on providing clean energy options, such as gas and electricity, to the poor.

Kenya, Emissions, Fuels
FILE -Women walk out of the forest carrying wood to use for cooking, in Tsavo East, in Kenya, June 20, 2014. VOA

“This data underlines the great exposure to harmful pollutants which account for about over 21,560 deaths annually,” he said, launching the survey at a conference on clean cooking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 3 billion people globally cook with solid fuels such as charcoal and coal on open fires or traditional stoves, producing high levels of carbon monoxide, which kills about four million people a year.

Countries have committed to ensure universal access to clean, modern energy for cooking by the year 2030 as part of 17 global development goals, but low levels of investment in the clean cooking sector are hindering progress.

The widespread use of dirty fuels also contributes to climate change and deforestation, according to energy experts.

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Government officials said Kenya has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% — where clean cooking will account for about 14% — under the Paris agreement on climate change, and it hopes to meet this target by 2028. (VOA)