alexa Crisis as dorms burnt at five schools Tuesday night - Daily Nation

Crisis as dorms burnt at five schools Tuesday night

Tuesday July 26 2016

A fire fighter from Eldoret Fire Brigade salvages students' boxes following a fire that gutted a dormitory on July 26, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A fire fighter from Eldoret Fire Brigade salvages students' boxes following a fire that gutted a dormitory on July 26, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

Dormitories in at least five schools were burnt on Tuesday night, adding to the almost a hundred institutions that have reported fires in the last couple of months.

Tuesday night fires happened at Giakaibii High School in Nyeri, Merti Muslim Girls Secondary in Isiolo, Adega Mixed Secondary in Homa Bay, St Stephen Secondary in Narok and St Patrick's School Iten in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.


At St Patrick's Iten School, a timber-walled dormitory housing 88 students went up in flames

Confirming the incident, the school principal Wilson Yego said the fire broke out at about 7:30 pm.

Mr Yego said that no one was injured during the fire.


"It is so unfortunate that this has happened in our school. We least expected that it could happen," said the principal.

Addressing the press at the school administration block, Mr Yego said the dormitory was a donation by a well-wisher in the early 1980's and students loved it because it had many cubicles.

All the students' belongings were destroyed.

Elgeyo-Marakwet County Commissioner Fredrick Ndambuki said his security team would take charge of the school pending investigations.

"I want to promise the entire school administration and the community that we are going to do thorough investigations and make our findings public," said Ndambuki.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly Speaker Albert Kochei has also petitioned Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to order the closure of all schools.

"I am asking the Education CS to close all schools so that these temperatures can go down because recently [we have heard of several fires in schools] and the situation seems to be getting out of hand," said Mr Kochei.

An old boy of the school, Governor Alex Tolgos said that it was unfortunate that the fire had happened.

"It is so unfortunate that the dormitory that housed me while I was a student here has been reduced to ashes. We will do thorough investigations to ascertain the cause," said Tolgos who was among the leaders that arrived at the school shortly after the fire.

Fire fighters from the Uasin Gishu County in Eldoret arrived at the scene moments later and put out the fire.


On Tuesday, Merti Muslim Girls Secondary School became the first institution to experience arson in Isiolo County.

About 50 students have been forced to sleep in their classrooms and share dormitories after one hall was destroyed.

According to Merti Sub-County deputy commissioner Julius Maiyo, the fire incident is suspected to have been started by Form Four students who were due to sit mock examinations on Wednesday.

Mr Maiyo said the girls burnt a dormitory that hosted 52 students.

He said the arsonists arranged mattresses in one of the corners before setting them on fire.

Neighbours and police intervened to put out the fire.

The students were attending evening prep when the fire broke out.

"At the moment the students will spend their night in their classrooms under police watch," said Mr Maiyo..

Mr Maiyo also confirmed that no arrests have been made, saying police have launched investigations.

The school has more than 150 students.


In Homa Bay, a section of students at Adega Mixed Secondary School in Rachuonyo South lost their properties after a dormitory was burnt.

Among the items that were razed during the 8pm fire at the boys dormitory included mattresses ,blankets and other personal effects belonging to the students.

Villagers who had responded to students' distress calls swung into action and helped to put out the fire before it could spread to other buildings.

Rachuonyo South Sub-County education officer Sospeter Were confirmed the fire.


In Nyeri, County Police Commander Eunice Kihiko told the Nation that there were no injuries reported at the Giakaibii High School fire, but that a dormitory was destroyed.

School authorities denied Nation journalists access to the institution.

Reporting by Denis Lubanga, Philemon Suter, Wycliffe Kipsang, Vivian Jebet, Maurice Kaluoch. Editing by Joel Muinde)