Families Left Homeless After Fire Outbreak in Slum

  • An image of fire
    Residents of Blue Estate in Nairobi trying to put out a fire on Tuesday 13 October 2020.
    Dominic Mwangi
  • Almost 60 families have been left picking the scraps of what once used to be their homes after a fire razed several houses in Kiamaina slums, Laikipia County.

    The incident, which occurred on Tuesday night, November 17, saw the fire break out and spread rapidly due to congestion of houses in the slum. 

    The county fire rescue services had a tough time managing the fire as residents and onlookers' efforts to offer assistance were unsuccessful.

    Scenes following the Gikomba Market fire. June 25, 2020.
    Scenes following the Gikomba Market fire. June 25, 2020.

    Area residents who survived the ordeal made an appeal to the county government and well-wishers to aid in the efforts to bring them back on their feet owing to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that had also affected their source of livelihood.

    "Most of our residents live from hand to mouth and now due to the fire tragedy, they have no source of income," an elderly woman decried while speaking to a local media house.

    Another resident also called on the government to have a standby fire rescue engine in case such incidents were to occur in the future. 

    "We want the government to purchase more fire fighting equipment in order to prevent such occurrences," a local resident noted.

    Slums in various counties over the years have been prone to fire outbreaks due to the close proximities of the houses which made the areas inaccessible for firefighters to navigate through.  

    A past incident within the same slum saw a mother and her 3-year-old son perish in a fire breakout. The mother and the child were fast asleep when their house caught on fire. 

    Nearby residents noted that the mother had tried to rescue her son by escaping through the main door but much to her dismay, all the exits had caught fire.

    After a long battle with the blazing flames, the residents along with the fire rescue services managed to find the bodies of the deceased.

    In another incident, hundreds of residents were also left homeless after a fire torched down several houses in Mukuru slums, Nairobi County on March 2, 2019. The tragedy claimed five lives.  

    Fire at Marikiti Market in Nairobi
    Fire at Marikiti Market in Nairobi on August 7, 2020.
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