Families left homeless after Mathare slum fire

October 19, 2013 3:48 pm
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One woman was injured and was taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital/FELIX MAGARA
One woman was injured and was taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital/FELIX MAGARA
NAIROBI, Kenya 19 – More than a hundred families have been left homeless and goods of unknown value destroyed in a fire at Nairobi’s Mathare slum.

A pastor in the area Patrick Lumumba says over 150 houses were razed in the informal settlement of Mathare.

Lumumba says one woman was injured and was taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital.

He however blamed the Nairobi County fire brigade for not showing up to contain the fire.

“The County Council has really disappointed us because we had to try rescue victims and salvage what remained from the fire ourselves hoping that in due time, they will show up but all in vain,” he said.

He asked the Nairobi County Government to put up a fire station on Thika Road in order to help contain such incidents on time.

“It is now necessary to put one fire station on this road because if they were near, they could have salvaged more goods and help put out the fire,” he said.

Witnesses said that the fire started from a house which was suspected to have an electric fault.

“I was called from my work in Kariobangi to come home because my house was burning. When I came I could not believe my eyes when I found everything in the house is destroyed. Now I have nothing and I don’t know where to start,” said area resident Njoki Njoroge.

Angry Mathare residents blamed the government for sidelining them because they are poor.

“If it was Westgate, everyone would have been here with helicopters hovering all over. Now it’s been three hours since we reported the case, and no one has come to our rescue, aren’t we human beings?,” asked one of the victims.

They also blamed the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company for lack of water supply.

“If we had water, we could have contained the fire but now since there was no water we had to sit back and watch our property burn,” Mercy Kyalo told Capital FM News.

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