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Inside Nairobi school’s ‘structural failure’ that led to the death of seven pupils – PHOTOS

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Before the Monday morning tragedy that claimed the lives of seven learners at Precious Talent Top School in Ng’ando Ward in Nairobi, the school was a disaster waiting to happen.

The school, tucked away in the slums along Ngong Road in Dagoretti South Constituency, has no proper structures to accommodate the more than 800 pupils who flocked it for knowledge.

WEAK STRUCTURES

As you approach the school, you are free to enter from any angle because it lacks a fence.

The structures in the compound speak of a school that has literally been punching above its weight, with many of its pupils shining in national exams.

From the rubble, it is clear that the structure that caved in and came tumbling down was weak, supported only by wooden pillars and iron rods that are bent.

Most of the classrooms seen by Nation are tin-walled, partitioned with plywood and cardboards.

There is only one stone block in the compound.

Some parents and school neighbours said they had raised concerns over the safety and stability of the building.

The floors of the classrooms were made of wood and on it slab held together by wire mesh and many claimed the structure was a product of poor engineering and workmanship.

Bodies of pupils who perished when a classroom collapsed at Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi being loaded into police vehicles by rescuers. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEH
Bodies of pupils who perished when a classroom collapsed at Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi being loaded into police vehicles by rescuers. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEH

STUDENTS’ COMPLAINTS

Brian Ajega, a Ng’ando resident who helped with the rescue, said the ground floor of the building was wooden while the upper floors were made of concrete.

And according to Meshack Nyabuto, an administrator at the local chief’s office, some of the pupils had complained about the shaking structure, complaints that the school failed to act upon.

Within the school compound is a store, evidence that construction was still ongoing.

On Monday, National Buildings Inspectorate (NBI) secretary Moses Nyakiongora termed the school building “a structural failure and a work of quackery”, adding that the school owner exposed learners to death.

Speaking at the scene, Mr Nyakiongora admitted that NBI officers were not aware of the existence of the building, adding that Nairobi County has many such structures.

And according a press release by St John’s Ambulance, one of the teams that led the search and rescue operation, it is suspected that the ill-fated building could have caved in as result of weak materials, “as it was made of iron sheets and wood only”.

“The temporary structure was hosting four classrooms on the upper floor and another four on the ground,” the disaster response agency said.

Bodies of pupils who perished when a classroom collapsed at Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi being loaded into police vehicles by rescuers. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEH
Bodies of pupils who perished when a classroom collapsed at Precious Talent Top School in Nairobi being loaded into police vehicles by rescuers. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEH

THE VICTIMS

But the school owner Moses Wainaina does not believe his structures were weak or done by quacks.

He instead blames Nairobi City County for the collapse, which he termed as “an accident”.

According to Mr Wainaina, Governor Mike Sonko’s administration recently dug a sewer line behind the classrooms, weakening the building’s foundation.

“They had good intentions to help this school but an accident has happened,” he said as he battled to calm irate parents.

Mr Wainaina’s claims were echoed by the school headteacher, who argued that a sewer line passed under the structure, and that strengthening the one-storey building would require bringing it down entirely.

Victims of the tragedy were learners in Classes One to Three who fell from first floor to the ground, with some being hit by blocks and debris.

Learners who occupied the ground floor— Standard Six, Seven and Eight— were the most affected when the classroom caved in.

The Kenya Red Cross has set up an information centre and is also providing psychosocial support services.

The numbers are +254 715 820 219 and hotline 1199.

By Nairobi News


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Lifestyle

World’s most-traveled man Fred Finn says Kenya is the safest place to visit during the pandemic

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Diani beach in Kwale County has played host to the world’s most traveled man, Fred Finn.

Finn has traveled to more than 150 countries at the age of 75 and holds the current Guinness Book World Records.

Finn, who is in the country until Monday, November 30 said Kenya is safe for holiday destinations.

He however noted that his visit at the moment is not for leisure, but to send a message that the country is safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says he has observed that Kenyans are following the protocols and guidelines than any other country he has traveled to during the pandemic.

“I did not come here on holiday, that is why my wife is not with me. I came because whenever Kenya has a little crisis I come and say Kenya is safe” he said

He said, during a pandemic, Kenya is the safest place to go on holiday.

Finn is scheduled to have his vaccine in December.

Tourism players say Finn’s visit to Kenya gives confidence to the international market that the country is an ideal destination.

“When you get an endorsement from the eyes of a traveler that is likely to carry the right persuasion to the potential travelers” said Kioko Musyoki, Leopard Beach General Manager.


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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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Health

Shock as man ‘resurrects’ in a Kericho mortuary

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There was drama at Kapkatet sub-county hospital in Kericho on Tuesday night when a 32-year-old man who had been presumed dead and taken to the mortuary regained consciousness close to three hours later.

Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Peter Kigen’s body when they noticed some movements.

Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo village in Bureti Constituency, is said to have collapsed while at home before his family took him to hospital.

His younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said he was present when Kigen collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.

“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui, who was still in shock, told The Standard.

After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was again asked to the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.

Kigen reportedly suffers from a chronic illness.

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“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.

He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”

However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkuriu said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that in fact, he was not dead.

Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.

“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who is still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.

Kigen, who spoke from his hospital bed yesterday, said he was shocked to learn that he was thought to have died and even taken to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe what just happened. How did they establish that I was dead?” he said.

Kirui, who donned his light-blue hospital uniform, was nevertheless happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism once he’s discharged from hospital.

“I did not even know where I was when I regained consciousness, but I thank God for sparing my life. I will serve him for the rest of my life,” he said.

The hospital’s medical superintendent Gilbert Cheruiyot said Kigen was in critical condition when he was brought in.

Dr Cheruiyot said: “His relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own.”

He said the clinical officers at the casualty were busy attending to other critically ill patients when Kigen was brought in, including an epileptic and a diabetic patient.

“They asked Kigen’s relatives to give them some time but they accused the clinicians of taking too much time and decided to take him to the mortuary. It was while the mortician was getting ready to embalm his body that she noticed some signs of life,” said Cheruiyot. He said the mortician informed the team at the casualty department which took Kigen back and begun resuscitating him. The process took three hours before the patient was stabilised.

“The patient was later taken to the ward and is responding well to treatment. We hope to discharge him in a few days,” Dr Cheruiyot said yesterday.

He added: “I advise those bringing their loved ones to the hospital to follow the laid down regulations. Before a body is moved the mortuary, it has to be certified by a clinician. In Kigen’s case, we can only say he was lucky, especially because of our qualified mortician who checked him before making any move,” said Cheruiyot.

The bizarre incident saw local MCAs, led by the Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno, storm the hospital. This is after Chelanget MCA Hezborn Tonui demanded a statement from the heath committee over the incident that shocked the county.


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