NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Parents of six children who perished in a road accident late Saturday while on an educational trip to Naivasha have accused the school’s management of negligence.,
Close to 130 pupils from Mary Happy School in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate had paid Sh1,000 to visit the popular Hellsgate National Park when the accident occurred.
One of the parents Rahma Yusuf Sheikh who lost a 12-year-old son Yasin Ahmed Ali to the tragedy told Capital News on Sunday the children had left Nairobi Saturday and were due back at 6 pm the same day.
“I didn’t know it was the last time I was seeing my son alive. He was jovial that morning and I bought him cakes and even gave him some money,” a grieving Mrs Sheikh said.
She said she received news of the accident at about 3 pm and immediately rushed to the school.
“When I arrived there, they assured me my child was safe and was expected in Nairobi any time that Saturday evening. I waited but lost patience at night and decided to take a taxi to Naivasha,” she narrated.
They had received reports that some of the children who were injured were admitted to the Kijabe Mission hospital and she decided to look for her boy there.
“I did not see him so I decided to go to hospitals in Naivasha and he was not there. Eventually I found his body at the mortuary,” she said amid sobs.
Her son wasn’t as lucky as 38 other children who, though wounded and even seriously, were at least alive.
“I blame the school management. They were not cooperative and they kept lying to me that my son was well. I waited and I didn’t see him. And up to now the school management has not given me any explanation,” she said shortly after burying her son at a Muslim Cemetery in Kariobangi.
Journalists were not allowed into the school compound and officials declined to comment on the incident.
Dozens of parents jammed the school on Sunday, demanding to know the fate of their children.
Some of the children who survived the trip told Capital News the vehicle they were travelling in was overloaded.
They said they were in various buses before they were told to alight from those vehicles and board the doomed bus. The children don’t know why they were packed in one bus.
“I was among those who were seated and I found myself out of the bus when the accident occurred. I don’t know what happened but I recall seeing the bus reversing then it started rolling,” one of the survivors said.
In total seven people died in the accident, one of them was a teacher accompanying the pupils.