Kenya: students rescued after four days in the forest

Four days without food and contact. This is the time three students and their two dogs spent in a forest in Mathira before they were rescued.

Police officers conducted an air and ground search for 17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17 and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20, who were missing on May 4.

The three students from sub-county Mathira East were on an adventure in the forest of Mt. Kenya when they got lost.

Muhoro is a third grade student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a third grade student but at Ihwagi Secondary School, while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

After four days of unsuccessful search, the police used a helicopter yesterday. They teamed up with the Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.

The two dogs that were with the students were also found.

Survived without food

Muhoro, who telephoned her torture from the forest, attributed her survival to the mercy of God

“By the grace of God we survived four days with no food or other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro told the Sunday Nation.

“We literally groped in the dark after getting lost on the way home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we didn’t have any food with us.”

He said they wandered when they got lost home.

“We entered the forest through the Ragati Gate. Hours later we were deep in the thick forest. I don’t know how far it was from the forest edges, but we were exhausted,” he said.

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“We couldn’t even tell the time because it was always dark. Then panic set in.”

When the students realized they were lost, they “meditated” and prayed to save energy and not think about food.

Phones lost signals

It became difficult to communicate with the outside world as their cell phones lost signals.

“We started moving in the forest and literature went around in circles to find a way out,” said Muhoro.

Days later, as they were hiking to the edge of the forest, they met some police officers and rangers who called the rest of the search party together.

According to Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who oversaw the operation, the students went into the forest around noon.

Her disappearance was reported to the Karatina Police Station on the same day and a search was carried out by local residents and police.

The operation yesterday caused a stir in Karatina as the helicopter made multiple trips to and from the stadium, the main search command center.

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