Nakuru family’s hope shattered after five die in Ethiopia crash

Thursday March 14 2019

Caroline Nduta Karanja who who died in Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, 2019 together with her children and her mother. Her family in Nakuru has described her as their breadwinner. PHOTO | COURTESY


Still in her 30s, Caroline Nduta Karanja was definitely on top of her dreams and a source of hope for her family which depended on her as their breadwinner.

The death of the accountant has left her family hollow, in pain and agony with all dreams they shared shattered.

When the Nation visited the family in Kwa Amos village in Bahati, Nakuru County, Caroline’s father, John Quindos Karanja, narrated the pain of losing his firstborn daughter and four other members of the family.

Caroline died alongside her mother, Mrs Ann Wangui Karanja and her three sons in the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash on Sunday at Bishoftu, formerly known as Debre-Zeit.


Caroline’s siblings Mwangi Karanja, Kevin Quindos and Kelly Wanjiru said plans for them to relocate to Canada where she lived were underway as their sister had already began facilitating for the same.


Ms Wanjiru, Caroline’s last-born sister told Nation that there was a lot in store for them through their sister “whose heart was so much attached to her family members”.

“We’ve been in school for years and our sister never rested until she saw us graduating. Personally, she took me through my university studies and still wanted my brothers and I to relocate to Canada and stay closer to her,” she narrated.

Kevin said he will forever remember his sister for coming into his life at his time of need. He studied medicine in Venezuela for seven years courtesy of the Kenyan government sponsorship, but Caroline came to his aid when he almost missed his final exams.


“I got a government sponsorship to study in Venezuela for seven years and it was assured to me that I will be getting Sh600,000 every year to cater for my school fees and other needs. But immediately I moved to Venezuela, that never happened,” he narrated.

Kevin said he almost missed his exams following the huge arrears he had but through Caroline’s effort and support he wrote his exams.

He said even though it took him another one extra year to come back home, Caroline ensured he cleared everything with the school.

Mr Karanja said he had for several years visited all the possible offices and ministries in Nairobi pleading with them to help his son finish his studies but none of his pleas where heard.


With a letter dated July 7, 2014, Mr Karanja said he went to the Ministry of Education to remind the minister about the sponsorship that his son Kevin had secured some years back and that he was suffering oversees but no positive response was given to him.

“Together with some other six parents whose children had won the same sponsorship to study in Venezuela we wrote letters to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, seven respective counties and others were circulated to media houses in the county so that the fate of our stranded sons and daughters would be addressed but unfortunately we never got help,” narrated the 61-year-old Karanja.


Mr Karanja now wonders how he is going to deal with several needy students whom his wife Wanjiru had enrolled in various schools and together they were paying for their school fees.

He remembered that at one point he complained about his wife’s “over-helping hand” but later came to learn to be kind-hearted through her.

He said no one can fill the void that his wife and other family members have left in his heart and the hearts of Kabatini fraternity.

“Maybe if only God sends me an angle from heaven to fill this gap, otherwise no human being will,” he said.

He described his wife as a responsible mother to his children and also a very able mentor to hundreds of people.