From the famous ancestral Ngoroamwaga to the stone caves that make Manga attractive, the heavy rains that bound the area and the entire country during the last quarter of 2019 have brought about another attraction to locals and visitors alike.
At Riooncha village, Morako sub location that rests at the border of Nyamira and Kisii counties, there has risen a black swamp full of water.
Since the start of the rain in late last year, the swamp started forming little by little and as the rains increased, so did the water levels.
“The swamp started emerging and rising its water levels late October as the rains continued but with time,it covered so much space even covering crops and trees as it expanded.This water is dark and has some foul smell that perturb each and every person passing here,” said Jared Omariba,a local.
Acloser look at the stagnant water confirms the foul smell and the dark colour.
Talking to locals and passers-by who mill around the silent swamp waters tells you the fears in their hearts that should there be rain for two consecutive months, the will be an overflow to the nearby busy road which may extend to the tea bushes and maize crops that are grown nearby.
Already, mature blue gum trees that were grown years ago are submerged at the stump level.
Just at the source of the waters,there used to exist a feeder road locals used by locals to access the main road and to nearby farms but the road is long gone-only water burbles are seen at the suspected source of the swamp,a confirmation that more water is burbling up from underground.
“We have already issued an alert to the people who pass near this swamp to access the main road to use alternative routes to avoid any dangers of slipping into the water,” said Vincent Nyakundi, a local administrator.
Mwebi Akuma, an elder who hails from nearby, is not alarmed that after many years since the water disappeared from the place, it has resurfaced again.
“Some years back the same thing happened (water upsurge).It is long since we had too much water here and this time again, we have seen this wonder. We hope it will disappear as the annual January drought comes, or stay,” highlights Akuma.
But weeks into the start of the year, with the rains that abound the region, the water levels may seem to stay or increase.
“The colour (dark) of the water is still the same as it was years back,” highlights the elder adding that back then, the water almost reached to nearby homes.
Nobody understands why the water is dark but Nyakundi suspects it is because of the falling leaves from the blue gum trees that are nearby and those already covered by the water.
“The surprising thing with this water is that nobody has dared to take a bath in it or fetch from it to take home for domestic use. The water seems to surprise everybody around hence making it feared. Not even the motorcycle guys want to use it to clean their machines,” wondered George Mounde, another local.
As to whether the water will continue to increase or remain stagnant after the heavy rains, is a matter to wait and see what the swamp holds for the locals.
Elder Mwebi is however worried that the water may attract mosquitoes to breed from the swamp which may lead to a malaria outbreak.
According to Manga ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Enock Okero, the swamp is naturally forming and time will tell whether it will hold.
“Manga is rich in history for the entire Gusii region and who knows as the swamp is forming, this may be another future tourist attraction and a resource puller for us,” noted Okero.