NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – Hundreds of donors streamed into blood donation centres on Sunday following an appeal by the Kenya Red Cross in aid of hospitalised survivors of Saturday’s terrorist attack at the Westgate mall.
Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said they had been overwhelmed by the huge turnout as he launched a fresh appeal for volunteers and beds.
Gullet said other donation centres had been set up at the Aga Khan University Hospital and at the Moi International Sports Centre where rugby fans watching the Safaricom Sevens tournament will be able to donate blood.
“We are in agreement with the Kenya Rugby Union to also help us get people to donate blood; we don’t know how many pints will be needed but we know the blood banks are always short of blood in our country,” he said.
He asked Kenyans to come out in large numbers in other parts of the country and donate blood.
“If you are in Eldoret head to the district hospital, in Nyanza head to blood transfusion centre next to new Nyanza provincial hospital and in Bungoma head to Shariff centre,” he said.
Among the donors at the Kencom House location included the Somali Ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Nur who said that his government condemned the attack and was working closely with the Kenyan government.
“I came here to show support and solidarity with the Kenyan Government and its people, I am also appealing to Somali citizens who live in Kenya to also show their support and donate blood,” Nur said.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan said that China stood firmly with the Kenyan government and people at this difficult time.
Guangyuan said the Chinese government expressed deep condolences and profound sympathy to the wounded and the families of the victims.
“We believe the Kenyan government and people will tackle the crisis appropriately and get through the difficulty,” Guangyuan said.
Businessman Chris Kirubi also sent his condolences to the families and friends of 59 people who perished in the attack.
Kirubi who spoke on phone with Capital FM News from the United States said he was deeply saddened by the incident and has urged Kenyans to remain united in this time of grief.
He asked those who are able to donate blood to do so at various blood donation points across the country.
He urged for calm and said he hoped the situation would not be politicised.
In Kisumu, hundreds of residents turned up at the Kisumu blood transfusion centre next to Kondele along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway to donate blood in aid of the Westgate victims.
Kenya Red Cross Society West Kenya Region Head Emmanuel Owako says that the turn up has been good and urged more blood donors to come out and donate.
“By 8am today we had already collected 20 pints of blood, more are coming in and I would urge all Kisumu residents to come out in large numbers and donate blood,” Owako said.
Safaricom Limited has set up a Pay Bill No. 848484 to assist with fundraising activities. For account number type the name Westgate or leave it blank.