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Sakaja jets in and orders crackdown after Embakasi gas explosion

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has finally resurfaced after disappearing from public view for the past two weeks which saw the county reporting two deadly fire incidences.

His first order of business on Tuesday, February 6, was to visit victims of the Mradi explosion in Embakasi East, which has so far claimed 6 lives and left more than 250 people injured.

The governor who jetted into the country last night, announced an immediate crackdown on illegal gas businesses in residential areas across the county.

“I have directed all the 17 sub-county administrators in Nairobi that if there are any such businesses ongoing in your areas and you have not reported, you will be answerable. We know where such operations should be and the list is out. I’m closing them down,” Governor Sakaja said.

The governor, who was accompanied by his deputy Dr Njoroge Muchiri, said the owner of the premises that went up in flames would face the full wrath of the law.

Addressing Embakasi residents, the governor reiterated that Nairobi residents should remain in their homes without fear and that their lives are of paramount importance.

However, he failed to provide a list of such businesses, the total number and the areas that are mostly dominated by illegal gas businesses.

According to the governor’s office, they are working closely with the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) to find out the number of such unlicensed operations in residential areas.

This also raises the question of whether the area administrator was aware of such operations and what action the county has taken so far, apart from condemning the incident.

The governor also urged residents to help report such businesses that endanger their lives to the police for immediate action.

This comes as fear continues to spread in the area over the state of the air following the suspected gas leak reported on Monday morning.

Nairobi Police Commander Adamson Bungei later called for calm, saying the police had carried out their investigations and there was no need to panic.

On Monday, February 5, Acting County Secretary Mr Patric Analo said that psycho-social support for victims and members of the community will continue at the Embakasi Health Facility.

The county says that 60 people are still admitted in various government and private hospitals and that upon discharge they will get the same psycho-social care and other material support.

Regarding the cracks that were spotted in some buildings, Mr Analo said that they will undertake structural integrity tests and advise on the next course of action which may include but is not limited to evacuation of the tenants.