A 30-year-old woman pushed her three daughters into Kipkaren River in Kabiyet location, Nandi county, and jumped in a bid to end their lives.
According to locals, Sharon Chemutai ignored pleas of people who tried to restrain her and pushed her children into the fast-flowing river just a kilometre from her home on Saturday evening.
Chemutai and two of her younger daughters aged four and two drowned while the eldest survived, the Standard reports.
Joseph Arusei, a resident, told the Standard that efforts to rescue the mother and the other two children were futile as they were overwhelmed by the water.
“We managed to rescue the eight-year-old whom we found holding on to a stone in the river,” said Arusei, adding: “She was taken to Kabisaga Dispensary for first aid after sustaining minor bruises on her legs and head.”
Arusei mentioned that while they could not establish what drove Chemutai to commit the act, the mother of three was running a small business selling second-hand clothes in Cheptil after she separated from her husband.
The deceased’s brother, Dennis Too, said his sister was an introvert and rarely shared her problems with the family. Too said she got home on Saturday evening and took her children claiming she was taking them for a walk along the river.
“No one suspected she was up to something fishy. The residents raised the alarm after they realised her intention was to drown herself and the children,” said the brother.
It took about two hours for local divers to retrieve the children’s bodies before officers from Kabiyet Police Station arrived and took the remains to the mortuary.
Nandi County Deputy Police Commander David Kirui said the body of the mother was found on Sunday morning and taken to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.
“From the preliminary report the single mother is suspected to have had differences with her family,” he said.