Monday, February 2, 2009

Month of Tragedies

My condolences to all those who lost loved ones in the two recent tragedies.

We as Kenyans, individually and collectively need to take a long hard look at ourselves, what we are doing and where we are going.

It is heart-wrenching to see death, injury and destruction on such a scale but what makes it so much worse is the fact that both of these tragedies were ultimately totally avoidable.

Mama wrote a stirring post on this subject and I think every Kenyan should read and re-read it.

More later....


  1. I didn't know the post was stirring :-) but thanks all the same!

    So this is where we shall be complaining about inefficiency by customer care representatives and what not? My dear you don't know me....I think I am gonna be a regular on this blog.

  2. These fire tragedies bring a lot into question...first what happened to basic knowledge imparted by teachers and parents to children? Do they still learn about the dangers of electrical sockets, how to cross a busy road etc? It is not like petrol is some new technology that we don’t know the dangers of!

    What disturbs me is that we seem to be faced with numerous fire tragedies. Is it that we are more reactionary then precautionary? Do schools and workplaces conduct fire drills? Do they have fire marshals, fire fighting equipment and emergency exits? Remember 1998, where 24 young lives were lost in the Bombolulu Girls School fire, in 2001 a number of lives (68)were also lost in Kyanguli Secondary School dormitory fire, in 2006 a chemical factory in Industrial area took the lives of 10 workers. In the case of the schools, it is said that the dormitories are often locked from outside with no emergency keys of emergency exits. Measures such as fire fighting equipment, emergency exits, spare keys, telephone lines incase of emergency should definitely be compulsory in schools. In August 2008, the government introduced rules to boost safety in schools (read the Nation Newspaper available from but was this introduced in reaction to the frequent riots and fire outbreaks experienced in secondary schools earlier that year? Shouldn’t these measures as well as frequent inspections be well institutionalized and properly implemented by now?

    In the tragic chemical factory fire the newspaper reports were that the only other exit which could have been used by the victim, other then the main one which was already engulfed with fire, was locked. There were claims that the door was locked by the factory manager to prevent looting. Is money more important then safety rather human lives?

    Should safety education be introduced into our circular? It is clear that poverty and desperation may be driving individuals to siphon fuel from the overturned petrol tankers; however could this be complimented with the fact that people just don’t have the sense of danger of petrol maybe as a result of lack of information (otherwise no one would have lit a cigarette at the scene). It may also be complimented with the fact that Kenyans may have learnt to be greedy from watching our leaders who are often involved in dubious money making schemes.

  3. Mama: Thanks for looking in and karibu. I have to admit "stirring" may have been the wrong(ish) word to describe your post. It was an honest, frank and powerful expression of what I am sure many people are thinking but I was in a rush when I posted and as periodically happens, I 'lost' the word I wanted to use.

    CG:I agree with much of what you say..we seem completely we make recommendations after the fact...but never seem to implement them. We need to close the gap between talking and doing.

    We also individually need to live by rules of common sense....but as my std 3 teacher used to love saying "common sense is not so common". Events of late seem to to back that up.