The breathtaking view from Sagalla Hills near Voi in which a Royal Air Force plane transpired during World War II. [XN Iraki, Standard] Sagalla Hills near Voi appears like any hills and soon you discover they hold a large secret.It’s the graveyard of a Sunderland plane owned by the Royal Air Force which crashed here during World War II.The plane, which had four turboprop engines, morning when it hit the hillside in 1944 was on an exercise mission one misty. Month last, some friends and I went searching for the plane on our way from battlefields of WWI in Taita Taveta.
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An extended winding road goes from underneath of the hill to the most notable. To your surprise, the very best is quite wet, a large contrast to the encompassing area.The seclusion of the area and its own beauty compares with Machu Picchu in Peru favourably. The terracing resembles Machu Pichu even. For all your full years, I’ve driven past this hill to and from Mombasa, I thought the most notable of the hill was this breathtaking never. Joseph Mwandilo, who lives near Sagalla Primary School, took us to begin to see the crash site.He reminded us it had been mistier once the plane transpired quickly; ramifications of global warming perhaps?The plane crash site is overgrown and nothing of the wreckage remains now.Mwandilo’s 100-year-old mum remembers the plane crash. Just yesterday another old man we met along the way also recalls it enjoy it was.
“We heard a loud bang like thunder. We reported to the principle who called in the national government officials,” recalls the old man. Chiefs had a large say in virtually all matters then. It appears the bodies were removed however the wreckage lay there until a couple of years ago when suddenly there is a spike popular for scrap metal. Mwandilo says scrap metal dealers descended on the plane and dismantled it with gusto. And like that just, a bit of history was all gone.Historical heritageLocals say dealers originated from as because the Mt Kenya region far.
The national government didn’t stop cannibalisation of the plane, locals explained.Mr Mwandilo sent me an image of a 50 calibre he shell got from the crash site prior to the dealers descended onto it.It had the real numbers RA 1941 50 CALZ in the bottom. The plane was armed with 59 calibre browning machineguns on either relative side of its body.It’s amazing how short-termism could be a threat to historical heritage. Throughout Kenya, several artefacts have already been sold as scrap metal.It isn’t clear why there is an abrupt demand for scrap metal in the first 2000s.
I recall sufurias, old padlocks, during the night wheelbarrows and anything metallic disappearing.Some suggest, albeit without evidence that such metal thrilled the Chinese industrial growth. The demand for scrap metal was fuelled by rising metal prices probably.Did scrap dealers know this?Regardless of the truth, Sunderland plane is fully gone, sold as scrap metal; history and heritage sold for a song. Yet there’s something magical and surreal in seeing a vintage little bit of a 75-year-old plane.Imagine this type of plane within an engineering school to showcase what lengths we’ve come technologically? You can find other wreckages of such planes in the Aberdares along with other elements of the national country. Think about it. If Tesla were to obtain its way, the inner combustion engine in your vehicle will be a 100-year-old artefact.Such may be the reality of technological progress. Once we progress, we have to leave technological landmarks for future generations. Did you retain the rotary phone? Did you retain your first cellular phone?Where is Kenya’s first presidential limousine? The Sunderland plane must have made its solution to the museum or at the very least had the website secured.Just how many more artefacts away have already been sold? Do any relic is had by you of world wars?The cannibalisation of the old plane shows the extent women and men are prepared to go to earn money in a “small economy”. Plus they can spot rare opportunities. While history enthusiasts see a vintage plane being an artefact to be preserved, “hustlers” view it as money.But all isn’t lost. The complete story of the plane and its own mission could be made area of the battlefield’s tourism circuit in Taita Taveta.Sarova Hotel has had the lead. Attract visitorsThe citizens of Taita Taveta might wonder why someone can go searching for a plane that crashed in 1944. It has economic and historical value. How old will be the Egyptian Machu or pyramids Pichu? The complete story behind these sites creates value and attracts visitors.Who was on the plane? What were they doing around Voi? What caused the crash? Where will be the descendants of the deceased? Can you envisage their grandchildren pointing out: “That’s where my grandfather died in 1944 operating of the empire?” We’ve talked much concerning the Big Five too. Historical sites will be the next big part of tourism. Why don’t we focus on Sagalla Hills crash site. Every county has such historical sites, not involving war necessarily.Think out loudly: as Kenyans become affluent, they have time and money to get exotic places and experiences. You will want to make some cash from that?– The writer teaches at the University of Nairobi
The views and opinions expressed listed below are those of the writer , nor necessarily reflect the state policy or position of Standardmedia.co.ke