Kakamega stampede: Trauma remains as last 3 victims buried

Saturday February 15 2020

Joyce Anyanga, mother of Kakamega Primary School stampede victim Bertha Munywele, during the funeral ceremony at Esumeyia Ebushibo village in Kakamega County on February 15, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Three Grade Five pupils, who died in the Kakamega Primary School stampede on February 3, were buried on Saturday.

One of them joined the school in January following a transfer from another.

The 12 other victims have been buried, one on Tuesday following her death barely an hour after she was discharged from the Intensive Care Unit at the Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Salima Bilal, the girl who was died after the discharge, was the 15th victim of the tragedy. Fourteen pupils died on the day of the stampede.

Eleven of the victims were buried last week after a requiem mass organised by the Kakamega County government at Bukhungu Stadium.

A post mortem report stated that the 14 pupils died from suffocation while Salima succumbed to lung injuries.



At the burials of Catherine Aloo, Bertha Munywele and Lavender Akosa, mourners said they had not yet come to terms with the events.

Bertha, 11, who was buried at her parents’ home in Ebusibo village, Navakholo Sub-county was a Grade Five pupil.

Her parents had her transferred from Ebusibo primary a year ago.

Her parents Victor and Joyce Anyanga said said they devastated

"On the tragic day, our daughter bid us goodbye in the morning before she was picked by a boda boda rider to go to school. She was in a jovial mood and promised to work hard in her studies," said Mrs Anyanga.

She said the boda boda rider called her with the bad news that evening.

"I rushed to the school and found teachers who told me injured pupils had been rushed to hospital. When I got to the emergency unit, I tried to trace my daughter but could not because of the commotion," she said.

She found Bertha's body among those at the mortuary.


Lavender, nine, also a Grade Five pupil was buried at her parents' home in Ikonyero village. 

Mr Mark Shikole, her father, described her as responsible, hardworking and a good dancer.

"She was the best thing that ever happened to my family. Lavender entertained the family with jokes when she was not busy with her school work," said Mr Shikole.

Her mother, Ms Fridah Anindo told the mourners she joined the school a month ago.

"No words can explain the pain I am going through. My daughter died such a painful death," said Mrs Anindo.

Lavender wanted to become a doctor.


Mr Gilbert Alusiola, a parent at the school said survivors of the stampede were under emotional distress.

"We want the children counselled in order to recover from the trauma," he said.

Catherine Aloo, another Grade Five pupil, was buried at Eshitsitswi village in Butere Sub-county.

Her father Peter Mayamba said the pupils died because they did not get urgent medical attention at the hospital.

Reporting by Benson Amadala, Shaban Makokha and Ken Wamasebu