More than Sh80 million was on Thursday raised for victims of the Nakumatt and Molo fire tragedies in one of the biggest fundraisers in Kenya’s recent history.
President Kibaki presided over the funds drive that saw public institutions donating a huge portion of the Sh80,771,101.25. The organising committee had hoped to raise at least Sh150 million but chairman Naushad Merali described the result as excellent and appealed to the private sector to help meet the target.
“It is an excellent collection that has seen the public sector contributing about 70 per cent,” Mr Merali, whose Sameer Group of Companies donated Sh15 million, said at Kenyatta International Conference Centre.
The money is meant to assist survivors and bereaved families by settling hospital bills, providing humanitarian assistance and offering social/psychological help.
The money will also go towards providing food, healthcare and education to those orphaned by the January fires, President Kibaki said. According to Special Programmes minister Naomi Shabaan, 179 people died in the fires.
Nairobi's Nakumatt Downtown supermarket was destroyed on January 28, leaving 29 people dead. Three days later, an oil tanker exploded in Molo District, 80km west of the capital Nairobi, killing 97 people. Of the 120 admitted to various hospitals, 43 have died.
President Kibaki and Mr Merali said the Sh80 million would help the victims recover and rebuild their lives and that bank accounts had been opened to receive further donations. “We hope to conclude the fund administration and disbursement within two months,” Mr Merali said.