Crock Full of It

I think it was Jay Leno who had a bit long ago with the observation that while we know we're more likely to die in a bathroom accident than on a commercial flight, we're always going to worry about the latter more because no one's ever opened their medicine cabinet and been sucked out into a slipstream at 30,000 feet. Similarly, I've not yet padded into the bathroom for a glass of water and found myself clenched in the jaws of a croc when I turned on the tap:

Deaths by crocodile attacks in Nyagatare district, along the crocodile infested Akagera River have compelled government to rush to the rescue of worried area residents, The New Times has learnt.

This comes after 14 year old Stella Mutesi, the latest victim was killed by a crocodile about a month ago while she was drawing water from the river.

Rosette Rugamba, Rwanda Development Board’s Deputy CEO in Charge of Tourism and Conservation, acknowledged the regrettable incident on Sunday explaining what is being done to prevent other such nasty deaths.

The article gives no indication as to how often this happens, but I'd bet death by croc is extremely rare relative to other life departures in Rwanda. Thankfully it appears this fact is being acknowledged in the government response:

Even though plans are underway to fence off the park so as to check human - wildlife conflicts, Rugamba underlined that in this particular case water scarcity is the challenge, which is going to be hastily addressed, “at the national level.” Safe water sources are said to be scarce in the area, leaving the residents with one alternative, albeit a deadly one – Akagera River.


Rugamba says a research study on where to erect boreholes in the communities has been concluded, by the ministry in charge of lands.

“The study has actually been done and finished, showing various points where the community can get water from without getting near the river. This issue is being addressed at a national level.”

Still, there's a perversity to the fact that it takes a croc killing, a non-event in probabilistic terms, to draw attention to the bland common killer represented by a lack of access to drinking water.