WAKE-UP CALL

OREDI CALVINE: Kenyans must learn from oil tanker fires

Kenha and the Ministry of Roads should enhance public awareness campaigns on the dangers of such behaviour

In Summary

• In as much as the residents near oil tanker accidents blame poverty and harsh economic times, it defeats logic to endanger other innocent Kenyans by scrambling for fuel.

• Elaborate road signs should also be erected on road stretches that are prone to oil tanker accidents. Residents found engaging in oil siphoning malpractices should be severely punished to act as a deterrent.

Thirteen people died on Saturday night after a fuel tanker burst into flames along the Kisumu- Busia road.
WAKE-UP CALL: Thirteen people died on Saturday night after a fuel tanker burst into flames along the Kisumu- Busia road.
Image: FAITH MATETE

The recent oil fire accident at Malanga area along Kisumu –Busia road where 13 residents lost their lives is a wake-up call for us to learn from.

Sadly, residents of Malanga village lost their lives when they should have avoided the tragedy by simply keeping away from the accident area.

It seems a common occurrence among Kenyans that they seem to suffer from memory loss even after seeing previous fatal oil tanker accidents.

We still remember in July 1998 on the same Kisumu –Busia road in Sidindi which is not far from Malanga area when 39 residents perished while siphoning fuel from an oil tanker after an accident.

Another accident happened again in January 2009 where over 100 residents of Sachangwan area lost their lives.

This was followed by the Sinai tragedy in 2011 with many residents of Sinai dying.

In all the fuel tanker accidents, it’s the same usual script where residents rush with jerricans and other containers to siphon the leaking fuel oblivious of the extreme danger they expose themselves to.

It has been reported some of the residents scramble for the highly inflammable fuel while smoking cigarettes hence triggering the uncontrollable fires.

In as much as the residents near oil tanker accidents blame poverty and harsh economic times, it defeats logic to endanger other innocent Kenyans by scrambling for fuel.

Kenha and the Ministry of Roads should enhance public awareness campaigns on the dangers of such behaviour.

Elaborate road signs should also be erected on road stretches that are prone to oil tanker accidents. Residents found engaging in oil siphoning malpractices should be severely punished to act as a deterrent.

It's high time such accidents are averted once and for all to avoid the loss of lives that could otherwise have been avoided.

Poverty and the high cost of living should never be an excuse for siphoning oil more so when the same victims incur unnecessary funeral and medical expenses occasioned by their callous behaviour.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris