Politicians issue ghost promises to building victims

Over 300 Nairobi residents who were left homeless after a building collapsed in Embakasi have nothing to smile about following unfulfilled promises from city politicians.

The families are spending their nights in the cold and dusty floors of Jophena Primary School, where they sought shelter following the disaster that claimed two lives.

Among those camping at the school are tenants from adjacent buildings that have since been declared unsafe.

The seven-storey building in Kware, Pipeline, Nairobi, collapsed on Monday night. An adjacent seven-storey building was noticed to have tilted and another, smaller one is said to be unsafe.

Tenants of the three buildings were evacuated and are now sheltering at the school.

MOST AFFECTED

In what is almost a tradition when disaster strikes, city politicians rushed to the scene to empathise with the victims and in this campaign season, each politician made promises to the victims.

They were promised food, water, mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets, among other essential and basic needs.

Children and women were the most affected, with a few mattresses and blankets to cover them during the chilly nights.

By Wednesday evening, ODM woman representative candidate Esther Passaris had donated 130 mattresses, which she said came from Vitafoam, which wanted to support the affected families.

‘I want to urge well-wishers to help politicians in assisting the affected families, not necessarily in money but also by giving food and non-food [items],” said Ms Passaris.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS

A victim, Racheal Moraa, said they were disappointed as they had high expectations from the politicians who on Tuesday promised goodies.

She said even area member of Parliament Irshad Sumra had only donated a few blankets.

She said the politicians who visited demanded a list of the names of victims but nothing had happened since.

“We are suffering here, we slept on the floor without mattresses…it was cold and dusty and the children are the most affected,” said Ms Moraa.

Her sentiments were echoed by another victim, James Muoki, who lamented that politicians had not fulfilled the pledges they made.

WORRIES ABOUT JOBS

Benjamin Muthoka, another victim, said that the longer they stay at the camp, the more they risk losing their jobs but they are unable to leave the camp as they have been rendered destitute after losing their property.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero promised Sh2 million that he said would be used to compensate the families, with each household receiving at least Sh30,000.

Mr Muthoka said the money would have helped him and his family find an alternative house and continue with life.

Nairobi Woman Representative Racheal Shebesh pledged to pay one month rent for the victims but, according to the victims, there has been no communication from her since she made the promise.

The deputy director disaster management Pius Masai has appealed to well-wishers to assist the affected families.

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