Nairobi governor, Johnson Sakaja, on Monday, March 27, attributed firefighters’ delays in responding to the Kibera fires to repulsion by residents and security concerns among the emergency responders.
In a statement, the governor explained that the firefighters expressed concerns over their safety given that the rivalling groups were engaged in running battles.
The emergency team also wanted to be assured of safe passways to the areas affected by the fire breakout.
“We dispatched our officers and fire engines who had earlier feared for their safety given the dimensions prevailing.
File image of firefighters responding to an emergency call
File “We have asked leaders to ensure their safe passage so as to prevent the fires from spreading further. We are only interested in saving lives and property,” read the statement in part.
According to the country boss, the firefighters were released at 3 pm to contain the fire but were repulsed. Ambulances were also sent to the area to address the situation.
“They were deployed and repulsed starting from 3 pm at Toi,” he stated.
However, he noted that the team arrived at the scene hours after intervention by local leaders.
Sakaja issued the statement after Kenyans lamented that firefighters took over three hours to arrive at the scene.
A section of Azimio leaders had joined Kenyans in calling out the government to address the situation even as the alleged absence of the police was questioned.
Nairobi senator Edwin Sifuna lamented that he sought police intervention, but his efforts were in vain.
“Just like in Northlands, the police are ignoring calls to intervene in Kibra where outsiders wielding pangas have been mobilised to attack locals.
“A place of worship was set ablaze to set residents against each other. We urge our people to exercise utmost restraint,” he stated.
A photo of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga addressing a rally on Kibra on March 27, 2022.
Raila Odinga Kenyans.co.ke could not independently establish or verify Sifuna’s allegations. The police were also yet to respond by the time of this publication.
The extend of the overnight damages was also yet to be established.