Aid pours in for Kibera fire victims

February 8, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Well wishers have been trooping to the city’s Kibera slum following Monday night’s fire that razed more that 100 houses and destroyed property worth hundreds of thousands of shillings.

Maisha Mabati Mills Limited brought in roofing iron sheets worth Sh10 million while the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) together with the Ministry of Special Programmes donated both food and non-food items to those affected.

Speaking during the distribution, nominated Member of Parliament Rachel Shebesh said more needs to be done to avert any such future catastrophes.

“These tragedies have become a lot here in Nairobi and when they do take place, we run for aid because there are leaders who do not act on their promises such that what they say up there do not reach the ordinary Kenyan,” she said.

Her Sotik counterpart Joyce Laboso urged leaders to take the lead in ensuring that their constituents receive the best services.

“You should not think that Rift Valley has completely gone. I have come here on my behalf and on behalf of the people of Sotik to give you my regrets about what has happened,” she said. “However we want to thank the area MP (Raila Odinga) for waking up early in the morning to survey the situation in the area.”

Assistant Minister in the Prime Minister’s office Alfred Khanga’ti who was also in the entourage called on politicians to focus more on development programmes as opposed to politics.

He said this will ensure Kenyans live comfortable lives free from disasters brought about by poor infrastructure and overcrowding.

Mr Khanga’ti pointed out that the ordinary Kenyan pays a lot of tax which should be used proper development projects.

“Everybody in Kenya pays taxes. And that money must be used according to the needs of Kenyans. It should not be used for personal gains. We should not have places like this where there are no roads, water and millions are being pocketed,” he said.

He further called on the City Council of Nairobi (CCN) to raise their disaster response capability to reduce the amount of damaged caused during tragedies.

“I want to tell the City Council of Nairobi to mark the hotspots in the city where disasters can occur and the fire trucks to be used in case of a fire breakout should be near those places,” he stated.

Four people, including a child were admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital after they were burnt while sleeping in their houses in Nairobi’s Kibera slum on Tuesday night.

Residents said the fire started at about 1am and spread quickly, destroying property worth hundreds of thousands of shillings and rendering people homeless.

Some of the residents interviewed said the fire started from a makeshift food kiosk and may have been fueled by illegal electrical power connections at Gatwekera, one of the most densely populated areas in the slum.

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