Nairobi, Kenya — There was panic and confusion on Mama Ngina Street in Nairobi after people were heard calling for help from underground sewer tunnels, but ‘disappeared’ when the police and emergency crews were called in.
People on the street say they heard voices from the manholes but when they tried to open the covers, the people inside started splashing them with sewer water.
“I was just walking and then I heard someone calling for help from this sewerage. So people asked him ‘where are you’ and he answered ‘I am inside this sewage tank help me’. When we tried to help he disappeared. It was at around 12.10pm,” a city resident who witnessed the incident on Mama Ngina Street Capital FM News.
When this reporter arrived at the scene, people were busy looking for tools to open the sewer. At the same time, the City Council of Nairobi and police were trying to open a second manhole near the Dedan Kimathi monument where the people were initially heard calling for help.
“When we opened the manhole, the guys ran away! They had a small torch. They were calling for our help but when we tried to help them they started splashing us with the sewer water. Then the police came and now after they opened the manholes, those guys have taken off,” a trader who operates a shop opposite the monument said.
“You can’t know what plan these people have when they are in this sewer line. We don’t know what they are up to. We cannot feel safe… in fact, I m going home now,” he added.
“It is dangerous given the state (of terror threats) we are in. this is busy place. The government should tell us whether we are safe or not. People are underground! The government should address us,” the residents demanded.
The police at the scene who refused to be interviewed about the incident said they did not see anyone but said they were responding to Kenyans who called for help. “We did not see anyone when we opened the sewer.”
However a city council worker who was opening the sewer near the monument said. “They were shining torches and talking to us but they disappeared when we started opening the sewer.”