Here is the list of worst school fires in Kenya
It happens every other month especially when exams are about to start. The fires start in the dormitories when everyone is asleep. It is rare to hear that a classroom caught fire.
What is causing the fires in our schools? That is the hard question, but it seems no one has the answer.
Is it that most schools on Kenya have no capacity to handle emergencies? And have schools implemented the safety standards manual produced two years ago?
School managers and parents admit that some schools are sitting on a time bomb, incapable of dealing with any emergency.
Here are some of the worst fires that we have witnessed in our learning institutions.
1. Kyanguli Secondary School 2001
In March 2001, 58 students were burnt to death after fire razed their dormitory in Kyanguli mixed secondary school, in Machakos county. Twenty eight others were seriously injured.
The fire had started in the early hours at the main boys dormitory of the mixed school.
2. Bombolulu Girls Secondary School 1998
Twenty six girls died in Bombolulu girls secondary school near Mazeras, Kwale County.
Reports indicated that all the students who died were in an overcrowded dormitory of about 130 students.
It was also said that one of the two doors to the dormitory was locked from the outside and all of its ten windows were barred. There were also no fire extinguishers.
It said some of the girls were killed in a stampede as they tried to escape through two narrow doors.
The school has now been renamed Mazeras Memorial girl’s school.
Ironicaly the school was closed indefinitely last year after another fire razed down a dormitory. Although no student was injured, the incident reignited memories of that fatal night.
3. Asumbi Girls Boarding Primary School 2012
In August 2012, eight pupils of Asumbi girls boarding Primary School in Homa Bay County, died after a fire razed their dormitory.
The young girls were burnt beyond recognition in a fire believed to have been caused by an electricity fault.
The dormitory had its windows grilled with wire mesh and had no emergency exit.
The dormitory is said to have been locked from outside making hard for the pupils to escape or get immediate help.
4. Nyeri High School 1999
In 1999, an arson attack at Nyeri high school claimed the lives of four school prefects.
Students locked up the four prefects in the main cubicle in the boys’ dormitory while they slept, doused it with petrol and set it on fire.
It later transpired that some students who had been suspended the previous term had sneaked back to the school with the sole intention of revenging on those they blamed for the disciplinary action taken against them.
NOTE: This story has been updated to include the 1999 fire incident at Nyeri High School.