Water heater electrocutes Nairobi man during bath

Monday June 22 2020

Mukuru-Kayaba slum chairman Jacob Ibrahim displays the water heater which killed a 35-year-old rider over the weekend. Three people have died in the slum in power-related incidents. PHOTO | SAMMY KIMATU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A 35-year-old man was electrocuted in Mukuru-Kayaba slum as he was taking a bath over the weekend, making it the third power-related death in the area in under two weeks.

Mr Thomas Ngunya Mwangi, a boda boda rider who hailed from Makuyu in Murang'a County, died inside his house after he touched a faulty water heater.  

A neighbour, Ms Carolyne Achieng, said she was at home with her husband when they heard the deceased screaming for help.

"We rushed to the house where we met smoke engulfing the whole house. My husband kicked the door since it had been locked from inside but it was too late. We found him lying down half naked with one hand holding the water heater. My husband switched it off but he was already dead," she said.

Area chairman Jacob Ibrahim cautioned residents to be careful when dealing with electrical appliances at home.

A nine-year-old boy died after an inferno in Lengo area in the same slum last Thursday.


Last weekend, a man who was illegally connecting power from a transformer along Entreprise Road in Industrial Area died on the spot.

He hailed from Kayaba slum and was connecting electricity to Mukuru-Mariguini and Mukuru-Kaberira.

Landi Mawe area chief Patrick Weru cautioned residents against illegal tapping of electricity.



As the escalating Covid-19 toll gives Health Ministry officials and Kenyans sleepless nights, in Nairobi's informal settlements, residents have returned to their old habits and lifestyle despite health risks the disease poses to them.

A spot check by the Nation shows that most people in Mukuru slums, Kibera, korogocho, Kwa Njenga, Lunga Lunga and Kwa Reuben slums are not observing social distancing.

Some salons and barber shops have no running water and soap, while availability of sanitisers is now a thing of the past.

"We have intensified police patrols and stipulated the curfew times to be observed...but in bars it is a cat and mouse games," a police officer who spoke to the Nation said.

In all the above slums and more, children play together without worries. 

Besides Kibra, there is no case so far reported in the sprawling Mukuru slum. Samples of 300 people were taken for Covid-19 testing at Mukuru Primary School but results are not yet out.