4 children die in Shire River
Four children, aged between seven and nine, drowned in Shire River in Blantyre on Sunday afternoon, police have confirmed.
According to Chileka Police spokesperson, Jonathan Philllipo, grandfather of two of the deceased children, Lundaviko Thomas, reported the matter to Chileka police on Sunday.
Thomas told police that his two grandchildren, Yohane Matiki and Yankho Matiki , both seven years old, along with their friends Mussa Everson, aged nine, and seven-year-old Kondwani Kandalama of Nzigala Village, Traditional Authority Kunthembwe went to swim at the river where they met their fate.
The incident happened near Tedzani Power Station Pond owned by Electricity Generating Company (Egenco).
Egenco has since issued a statement on Sunday informing the public that it had lowered the pond’s water levels and shut some of its electricity generating machines to facilitate the recovery of the bodies.
“Six kids from surrounding villages, aged between two to four went playing in the Shire River at the upstream side of Tedzani Pond, unfortunately four kids drowned,” the statement reads.
Egenco halted operations of its machines and remained with one running. Bodies of the four children have since been recovered while police are investigating the matter to get full details of what transpired.
Meanwhile, the government has handled the incident as a disaster and has provided financial resources, including coffins for the burial of the children which took place yesterday.
Director of Disaster and Response in the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Harris Kachale said: “This is a tragedy, something that the parents never expected; it is a shock to all of us.”
The accident happened at the upstream side of the pond.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.