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Tragedy as 14 Kakamega Primary School pupils are killed in stampede – VIDEO – Nairobi News

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Fourteen pupils died while at least 39 were seriously wounded in a stampede at Kakamega Primary School on Monday.

Western Region Police Commander Peris Kimani confirmed the report, saying 20 were treated at the county’s general and referral hospital and discharged.

RUNNING OUT OF CLASS

Reports indicated that the students were running out of class at 5pm when the tragedy occurred.

It was said that some fell from the third floor of the building.

Responders, including police and personnel from the Kenya Red Cross Society, went to the school to offer emergency services.

Leaders and security chiefs were among those who went to the hospital after receiving reports of the incident.

They included Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Lurambi Member of Parliament Titus Khamala and County Commissioner Pauline Dola.

Governor Oparanya visited the patients in their wards but left without addressing the media.

County head of communication Dickson Rayori said Mr Oparanya will address the media Tuesday morning.

DEVASTATED

Mr Khamala and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali called for thorough investigations into the tragedy by the ministry and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Via Twitter, Deputy President William Ruto said: “We are devastated by the tragedy … our prayers, love and thoughts to the families and relatives of the victims of the misfortune.”

Also on the social media platform, Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga sent a condolence message in which he described the incident as “unfortunate and regrettable”.

“I wish quick recovery to the injured children and pray that God grants strength to the affected families,” he said.

He added: “There must be an immediate and thorough probe to get to the bottom of this incident.”

Tragedies that have occurred in schools or affected students in the recent past include fatal accidents, deadly fires and the collapse of structures.

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Parents wait for reports on their children at the Accidents and Emergency Unit of the Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital, following a stampede at Kakamega Primary School on February 3, 2020. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA
Parents wait for reports on their children at the Accidents and Emergency Unit of the Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital, following a stampede at Kakamega Primary School on February 3, 2020. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA

SCHOOL TRAGEDIES

In September 2019, the Education ministry revoked the licences of two primary schools in Nairobi over safety concerns.

Education CS George Magoha closed Precious Talents Top School in Dagoretti and Pama Academy in Kangemi and ordered the affected pupils sent to public schools.

The institutions had substandard structures.

In January, three pupils died after lightning struck them at Mkulima Primary School in Kuresoi North Sub-County.

At least 53 others were admitted to various hospitals in Nakuru County.

Education officials partially closed the school and ordered the learners moved to the neighbouring Murinduko and Kerisoi primary schools, pending renovation of their classrooms.

In September 2017, nine students died while dozens others were injured after a fire burnt down a dormitory at Moi Girls’ School Nairobi.

Parents accused the Ministry of Education of laxity in addressing such incidents.

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Kenyans Support Each Other Through Virus Crisis

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Amid the coronavirus gloom, leaders, corporates, clubs and ordinary Kenyans are going out of their way to make a difference.

A silent philanthropic spirit is sweeping across the country as changemakers seek to save and touch the lives of ordinary Kenyans, especially those from less privileged backgrounds.

They are making face masks, contributing money, donating hand sanitisers, water tanks, soap, food and other essential just help their fellow countrymen survive the hell brought by the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Tracker

In Kitui, a factory that was making uniforms, mats, napkins and gardening clothes has transformed into a 24-hour operation making surgical masks — an essential product for health workers on the frontline.

Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec) has gone flat out to make 30,000 masks a day to help plug a global shortage of the protective gear. Kenya needs 15 million masks for its citizens

With the rising global demand for masks, Governor Charity Ngilu has decided to step up.

SPRAY BOOTHS

After a visit to Taiwan two months ago, Ms Ngilu quickly arranged to have Kicotec, which employs more than 400 workers, make some sample masks that were taken to the Kenya Bureau of Standards for approval, before being granted the tender to make them by the Ministry of Health.

“Let’s not wait and wonder. We import everything and produce nothing, despite having all the resources at our disposal,” Mrs said Ngilu told The Washington Post in a recent interview.

Kicotec employees are mostly women with very little or no formal education. The staff, who work in three eight-hour shifts, were retrained in seven days and are helping protect health in both private and public hospitals.

“It was a big challenge to bring them from the village to where they are today. But they are all experts now. They could each run their own factory, if you ask me,” Mr Mbuvi Mbathi, the factory manager, told The Washington Post.

In Mombasa, businessman and politician Suleiman Shahbal has forked out Sh900,000 to instal fabricated automatic sanitiser spray booths in partnership with the county government.

RENT HALVED

The booths, installed on both sides of the ferry with larger ones under construction, are part of efforts to disinfect the ferry, a known weak link in the fight against the virus.

“This is the least we can do for the community to fight off this pandemic,” Mr Shahbal said.

Several landlords have also come to the rescue of tenants. Mr James Kanja, 43, who owns a one-bedroom and two-bedroom rental apartment block in Mugumo, Ruiru, has reduced the rent by half for the month of April.

“I am a businessman dealing with construction material. My business is down and I figured that some of my tenants are affected,” he told the Nation.

“In that apartment, I have teachers and some of them are on half pay. Also, the uncertainty that comes with this pandemic can be overwhelming. I just wanted to uplift their spirits and alleviate some of their stress so they can focus on other basic needs.”

WAIVER

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Other organisations and initiatives are rallying Kenyans to help support children’s homes and street children.

At the corporate level, banks, telcos and manufacturers have wired hundreds of millions of shillings to support the government fight against the global pandemic.

Others are giving in kind, from PPE for medical staff to oxygen, soap, hand sanitisers, surface disinfectants and masks. The Corporative Bank leads commercial banks in the charity drive after it wired Sh100 million to the kitty.

UBA Bank has offered Sh15 million while Safaricom, besides foregoing Sh3 billion in M-Pesa revenue every month to allow free transactions for amounts below Sh1,000, has given the Ministry of Health four thermal cameras that will be used for screening at border entry points.

A number of companies have also come together to launch the Safe Hands Kenya campaign that aims to distribute free soap, hand sanitisers, surface disinfectant and masks to Kenyans.

CHARITY DRIVE

A nationwide marketing campaign will be rolled out in parallel to motivate behaviour change and inform people about practical and immediate measures they can take to stay safe and slow the spread of the virus.