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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Floods threaten Kenya's mythical snake
Omweri
Omweri is threatened by the rains he is credited with bringing

A well known snake in western Kenya said to have mythical powers has been marooned by flood waters following heavy rains.

The 16-foot-long python called Omweri which locals say brings good luck has become a tourist attraction in the village of Lower Nyakach.

But most homes in the village have become submerged by rising waters and there are fears that the snake and its eggs could be swept away.

Some believe that the python is actually responsible for the heavy rains which have been pounding the area.

Western Kenya has been badly affected by heavy rains and on Tuesday the government declared the floods a national disaster.

The Daily Nation reports that only the home where Omweri lives has avoided the floods so far.

Attraction

A resident in Nyando, Mark Ogelo, told the newspaper: "Water levels are rising and we fear Omweri could be washed away."

With recent floods having kept visitors away, villagers are now asking the government to fund a special construction which could house the python.

The snake, brooding on four eggs, has been looked after by local villagers who fed it a daily diet of bread, hens, frogs and water.

Claims that visitors were being charged to see the snake were denied by a villager, but local traders had been making a profit from selling water, snacks and porridge to visitors.




SEE ALSO:
Kenyans charmed by snake
11 Mar 03  |  Africa


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