Tuesday September 17, 2019
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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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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.”

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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 Third African Country to Roll Out World’s First Malaria Vaccine

Young children in eight western Kenyan counties will receive the RTS, S malaria vaccine, developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline

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A health worker vaccinates a child against malaria, in Ndhiwa, Homabay County, western Kenya, Sept. 13, 2019, during the launch of a malaria vaccination campaign in the country. VOA

Kenya has become the third African country to roll out the world’s first malaria vaccine. Young children in eight western Kenyan counties will receive the RTS, S malaria vaccine, developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Africa continues to bear the greatest brunt of malaria globally and the introduction of the vaccine in parts of Africa is seen as a possible game changer in the fight against the killer disease.

Mothers and children lined up at a health center in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay County, on Friday to receive their first injection of the RTS,S malaria vaccine.

The vaccine will be administered in four doses to children between six months and two years old.

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A clinic handbook is given to new mothers free of charge upon delivery at health facilities all over the country. The book contains vaccination schedules and information materials. (R. Ombuor/VOA) VOA

The program is being facilitated by Kenya’s Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the global nonprofit PATH and other partners.

Scott Gordon, director for the malaria vaccine implementation program at PATH, was present at the launch and spoke to VOA by phone.

“Given the malaria burden here in Kenya where it’s one of the leading causes of childhood killers as well as the burden in the other countries, today’s launch is a tremendous step.  It means we have a tool that can be used in selected areas in Kenya to combat malaria and ensure that children are able to benefit from the broader portfolio of tools for malaria,” Gordon said.

Malawi, Ghana and Kenya are participating in the malaria vaccine implementation program coordinated by the WHO.

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At least 360,000 children are expected to receive the vaccine each year in the three countries.

The Homa Bay County minister for health, Richard Otieno Muga, says the vaccine will be one more tool for fighting malaria.

“Introduction of vaccines is one of the interventions but already we have insecticide treated nets, we also have indoor residual spraying in which we carry out to be able to fight Malaria which is a major killer for most of our children,” Muga said.

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Kenya has become the third African country to roll out the world’s first malaria vaccine. Pixabay

The WHO says Africa accounts for 90 percent of malaria cases and deaths globally.

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The program will run through 2022, with scientists studying the rollout to gauge the effectiveness of the vaccine. (VOA)