It was with profound shock and disbelief that we at the National Council of Churches of Kenya received the news of the deaths of close to one hundred Kenyans in the Sinai slum fire disaster.
Our hearts go out to the bereaved families and to the injured Kenyans. On behalf of the NCCK church fraternity in Kenya I express our deep sympathy with the families and friends of those who perished.
We take this opportunity to console the bereaved families, and pray that the God of all comfort will encourage them through the peace and hope that is in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
We pray the prayer of David in Psalms 34:18: that “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
We at the NCCK and our member churches will stand in solidarity with affected families and will in due course reach out to them in the way the Lord enables us. We again urge Kenyans and the corporate bodies to reach out individually and collectively in ways that can assist those in need amongst us.
We call on all Kenyans and especially Christians to join in praying for our nation in these trying times. We have in the last month lost dozens of Kenyans through the famine, road accidents and other calamities arising from manmade causes like the illicit brews.
As we mourn these deaths it is important that the government shows commitment in unravelling the cause of the fire disaster, hold people to account and deals with the causes of all these problems.
For how long shall we as a country continue to mourn over such disasters? We ask for a full investigation as to how and why such a level of highly inflammable liquid could have leaked and flowed into a river, be noticed by wananchi at the Sinai slum, without any management effort from those in charge.
It is not lost to us that two years ago another fuel tragedy at Sachangwan left another over 100 Kenyans dead. Probably our government needs to evaluate its approach to the entire management of fuel products whether via pipeline or on transit by tankers.
Moving forward it is critical that the State moves in to secure areas around the pipeline and ensure that communities living in danger around the pipeline are humanely relocated to avert recurrence of a similar disaster. There surely are guidelines as to how far people should live with respect to the pipeline.
Once again pole; may the Lord of all comfort, comfort the families of the bereaved and those that were injured.