Red Cross transports 39 students stranded in Kisumu

Thursday January 4 2018

Red Cross Kisumu

Red Cross vehicles transport some of the 39 students who were stranded at the Guardian Angel bus booking office in Kisumu on January 3, 2018 after arriving from Nairobi following a ban on night travel by PSVs. PHOTO | RUSHDIE OUDIA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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The Kenya Red Cross Society on Wednesday finally came to the rescue of 39 students who were stranded at a Kisumu bus booking office, a few metres from a nightclub.

The society’s Kisumu team reacted promptly and dispatched three Toyota Land Cruisers to ferry the learners to their schools in Siaya and Busia counties, moments after the Daily Nation sent an alert highlighting the plight of the students.

The students, who had travelled from Nairobi and were on their way to various schools in Siaya County, were spotted by concerned members of the public and revellers at the Guardian Angel booking office next to the Barcadia Lounge in the heart of the Kisumu CBD.

HEADCOUNT

After a headcount, Red Cross Western Regional Logistics Officer Jackson Oduor confirmed that among the stranded were 25 from Mbaga Girls High School, one from St Anne’s Kisoko, another from Sinyolo Girls and another from Rang’ala Girls in Siaya County.

Two others were from Bishop Okoth Ojolla, another two from Chulaimbo Boys and two Sinaga Girls.

Sawagongo High School, Barding, Hawinga and Selly’s Primary school had one stranded student each.

“We have to ensure the children reach safely. They are not safe here with many of them being girls who might be needing special care and attention,” said Mr Oduor.

The schoolgirls were seen outside the booking office lying on the slabs and on the pavements while the overwhelmed ones fell asleep on the couches in the waiting lounge.

NIGHT TRAVEL BAN

Some of the students from Mbaga Girls High School and Rang'ala Girls, both in Siaya County, revealed to the Nation that they had to wait until Thursday morning to be ferried to their respective schools following the night travel ban on public service vehicles by the National Transport and Safety Authority ((NTSA).

The girls were seen a few metres from a nightclub and some could be seen enjoying the music coming from the social joint while some even started dancing. Others could be seen buying food from the nearby shops.

At some point, when they were overwhelmed by the cold outside the station, the Guardian Angel management told them to get inside a bus parked outside.

Some concerned members of the public who sympathised with the students proposed to have them sheltered somewhere.

"We left Nairobi at 10am and reached Kisumu at 8pm. We were asked to wait until 6am on Thursday to proceed following the ban on night travels," said a student from Mbaga Girls.

The ban had interfered with the normal operations of the buses, with the travelling schedule being adjusted.

This had led to many passengers, mostly students who were returning to school for first term, to be stranded at various bus terminuses across the country.