FIRE TRAGEDIES

Lives can be saved by setting tough laws against oil siphoning

Tragedies arising from oil siphoning have not taught citizens to keep distance when a tanker crashes

In Summary

• Citizens should use past accidents as a lesson and stay away from fuel tankers that have crashed. 

• Petroleum products are very volatile and thus highly flammable. 

At least 57 Tanzanians have been killed in a fuel tanker blast
LESSONS NOT LEARNT: At least 57 Tanzanians have been killed in a fuel tanker blast
Image: COURTESY

Recently, dozens of people lost their lives in Tanzania as they struggled to scoop fuel from a tanker that had just crashed.

As we express our heartfelt and sincere condolences to their families, we must not forget about the Sinai slum fire tragedy, the Sachang’wan oil tanker fire tragedy among others resulting from oil siphoning. These tragedies have brought untold agony to those who have lost their loved ones.

To the communities whose families were wiped out; we must collectively say enough is enough and condemn those who siphon fuel. As we continue to sympathise with these families, we must not forget the dangers posed by fuel siphoning. Petroleum products are very volatile and thus highly flammable and in case of a leak, there are high chances it will result in a fire. This, therefore, means people should keep away from such scenes for their safety.

 
 

Unfortunately, previous accidents have not deterred Kenyans from engaging in this exercise. Consequently, we must not allow these fire tragedies to be like an ink stain on a white page; the memory of the horrors must not be swept under a carpet. We must use this as a trigger for a national debate that will sensitise the population on the dangers of siphoning fuel.

We must learn from this and must not allow this to happen again in future and we must mitigate such tragedies. One way this can be managed is by actively and continually educating the population on the dangers of fuel siphoning and also punishing those who seize every opportunity to siphon fuel.

We need proper laws that will make it hard for those who siphon fuel. Institutions directly linked to this challenge must be ready to co-author laws that will subject such persons to judicial punishment.

Nairobi