Monday, September 12, 2011


I guess this is the worst part of being a journalist. Seeing people hurting and not being able to do anything about it. Not by choice but forced by circumstances. I watch as scores of people are rushed in ambulances, personal vehicles and matatus to the nearest hospitals for medical attention having sustained up to 90% degree burns. I am not a medic but those kinds of burns a very hard to recover from. Tears are streaming and I can only be glad that I am watching the events of the black Monday unfold while I am 500kms away. Selfish it might seem but, I don’t think that if I were covering that news piece, I would do it objectively. Even the première was devastated by what he saw at the Sinai slums. Today’s tragedy is the worst of fire tragedies that have been seen in a while. Bodies burnt beyond recognition, hundreds left is almost time for children to go home from their first day in school after teacher’s called of their strike yesterday, but some of these children will have nowhere to call home and no parent to return to because of the black Monday tragedy. After Sachangwan it would have been evident that Kenyans would learn from it and forget the idea of siphoning fuel altogether. The truth is many of us never learn and if we do we try to rationalize the chances of the events happening to us as very few. Imagine the thoughts of the woman running with a three litre jerican to siphon fuel to sell: at least my children will have food for the next few weeks. She is among the many whose bodies have been burnt beyond recognition. But even then innocent blood was spilled, that of those who had no intentions of getting rich quick from the illicit sale of spilt fuel. The fire caught them of guard in their homes or maybe in their sleep. It is even more tragic that many people will not know if their family members are among those who perished for a little while longer as confirming with the busy hospitals the victims have been referred to will be difficult. The Kenyatta National Hospital is in dire need of blood donation if it is to help the more than seventy people that have been admitted to their hospital from the fire. The least we can do is donate!

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