Monday, September 12, 2011

Kenyans, Freebies and Impunity

Its a sad day for East Africa.Even before the news of a ferry tragedy in Zanzibar, that killed hundreds of people, over one hundred more lives have been lost in a fire tragedy in Nairobi.Deep condolences go out to all affected, and wishes for a quick recovery to all those hospitalized.
Rescue efforts were particularly challenging in both cases. Both tragedies could have been averted.
In February of 2009, John Ngirachu, a journalist at the Nation newspaper in Nairobi, and a former university colleague, wrote about a looming fire disaster in the Mukuru Sinai slums. He and a fellow journalist reported how residents had resisted attempts to move them from the oil pipeline area in which they were living.

They quoted a local pastor as saying “The Bible says that God is fire,” the 45-year-old pastor says. “Well, my church is right on top of the pipeline, and I am always aware of the possibility of a fire outbreak.”
It is now September 2011, and a fierce fire did break out...adding to a long list of tragedies that could have been averted. It is a culture of impunity. A culture that has fatal results.

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