Businesses count losses after Embakasi gas explosion
On normal days, residents of the Mradi area in Nairobi would engage in hustles that helped them make a living and pay their bills.
Suddenly, a tragic incident occurred when a gas plant in the residential area, which the government says was put up without following due procedure, went up in flames.
That incident has changed their lives.
Ms Dorcas Chepngetich used to run a liquor shop just opposite the garage that housed the gas plant.
That business was her family’s only source of income.
She managed the shop for two years and the proceeds were enough to sustain her family.
That was before fate decided otherwise.
On the day of the fatal incident, she woke up early in the morning and went about her other duties, before opening businesses in the evening.
Her liquor shop, which she says is worth Sh300, 000, was one of the popular places where residents used to stay late and enjoy their drinks.
She says that when the incident happened, she was inside serving customers before the whole place was reduced to ruins within minutes, putting an end to her business.
For her, compensation from well-wishers and the government would be the only remedy, and the food donation from the Kenya Red Cross was just but a drop in the ocean.
“We want to be compensated to at least restart our businesses. For now, we are just here walking up and down without any job. Some people said that they have received money but some of us have been left out yet we have been writing down our names,” Ms Chepngetich said.
She said that at the moment, she has been left pondering over the future even as politicians continue streaming the area to mourn with those who lost their loved ones.
Youth in the area who were also affected have come out to accuse politicians of using the Embakasi incident to campaign instead of ensuring they are looked after.
“It is painful that most of the people who were affected are nursing injuries inside their homes while the aid is not reaching them. No help is reaching our mothers, brothers, and fathers who were affected. The food and money they are giving the victims is not being received. We want to know if the people from Kayole, Utawala, Mihango or Soweto are the ones who were affected by fire,” a Mradi victim said.
Opposition leader Mr Raila Odinga and area MP Babu Owino have pledged a million shillings each towards victims of the incident.
Governor Sakaja said the county would support the victims by giving them Sh10, 000 each even as he reiterated that the premise owner should be forced to compensate the victims.