Kenya Red Cross to embark on educating communities on disaster management skills
Written by Leonard Wamalwa
Read 887 Times
The Kenya Red Cross team from Bungoma at an accident scene along the Webuye - Bungoma Road. Photo | Rosemary Wachiye
Barely three days after a tragic road accident that claimed lives of 18 people leaving tens of others injured at Kamatira area of West Pokot District. The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) is set to embark on a sensitization program to educate people from communities living around areas believed to be dangerous spots.
KRCS Rift Valley Regional Disaster Management officer Kennedy Mulama said that there is need for the society to emphasize fully on equipping the members of the public with more skills that can enable them safe lives during rescue missions. He also said that the country does not have better equipments to handle such matters.
Speaking to West FM on phone, the officer cited the Wednesday night incident at Kamatira whereby a woman who was trapped in the wreck of the ill-fated bus kept on crying for help from the rescuers but unfortunately she was not reached until she passed on yesterday morning.
"We could have rescued such a woman if we had better disaster management equipments but unfortunately we were helpless at that time as the improvised equipments that we had could not enable us safe the woman with others in the bus who might have been saved," said Mulama.
He pointed out that the rescue process at the Kamatira accident was so difficult basing on the terrain of the area and the lack of equipments that could easily overcome such circumstances and safe lives.
Mulama noted that the education programs have been going on but there is need to put more emphasis on the same to ensure that most of the people in such areas have diverse rescue skills so that they do not look helpless whenever they arrive at accident or other disaster scenes like the one that involved the DAYA bus that was headed for Lodwar from Kitale.
Signposts indicating the black spot areas to motorists plying such routes to know the nature of some of the areas they approach as they drive or ride along such roads will also be part of the Red Cross society’s plan in its new approach.
The accident scene at Kamatira in Kapenguria where 65 passengers survived with 18 being killed when the pass rolled over a cliff.
During the Wednesday accident, 65 passengers who survived death were rescued and rushed to nearby hospitals including Kapenguria and Kitale district hospitals with two severe cases referred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
Bodies of the 18 passengers who perished were retrieved from the wreckage of the bus but three of them could not be retrieved until more support was sort from Eldoret. As the media got the news, bodies were still under the wreck as the crane requested was yet to pull the remains of the bodies from the bus.
He said that the remaining patient has a fracture on one of his hands but he is stable and only being given time to start handling the fracture on his own before he is discharged. However he confirmed that none of the casualties admitted at the health facility died there as all the cases were well handled and over twenty of the casualties were treated and left to go that very day of the accident.
According to one of the members of the council who is also a prominent businessman in Kapenguria Wilson Tonapa, there is essence for such a ceremony to cleanse the area so that the spirits of the people who die there do not continue hounding other motorists plying the road.
He told West FM that the elders are consulting to do the exercise as soon as possible after the logistics and other requirements for the exercise are accomplished.
The business man who is also an activist further revealed that the council of elders is also going further to engage the minister of roads Franklin Bett to put special attention on the road from Kapenguria to Lodwar on which the accident-prone Kamatira is situated and come up with a well-designed version of the road that can avert the slope and sharp corner that causes most of the accidents in the area.
Similar proposals were given by the members of the public on Wednesday night at the scene of the accident saying that that area of the road needs to be re-designed to safe lives of motorists using that road.