Ruto calls for audit of schools infrastructure

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto (second left) with Health PS Susan Mochache and KNH acting CEO Evanson Kamuri when he visited injured pupils at the hospital. Photo/DPPS

The government has ordered an audit of all schools infrastructure. Deputy President William Ruto, who spoke yesterday after visiting injured pupils of Precious Talents Top School in Dagoretti, Nairobi, said the government would ensure academic institutions are habitable. The pupils were injured after a building collapsed, killing seven of their colleagues.

“We do not want sub-optimal structures in our schools. We want a serious audit to be done to all learning institutions to ensure learning of our children is not compromised like we have witnessed,” he said.

 The DP said during his development tour in Dandora last week, he noted how most schools in such settlements have very poor infrastructure, which could end up hurting lives of innocent children.

 He said it was regrettable that the incident had claimed seven lives, and injured at least 64 learners.

 Ruto said lack of a public primary school in the area had been brought to the attention of the government, and work was in progress to have one institution built as soon as possible.

 “It is sad this has happened. However, the government has set aside Sh10 million to ensure a public primary school is set up soon,” he said.

Contain situation

A further Sh10 million has been made available by the Dagoretti South NG-CDF with area MP John Kiarie, saying the funds will be ready as fast as possible.

Already, Ruto said the government is in talks with Lenana School to donate land where the school will be established by January next year.

In his message of condolence, President Uhuru Kenyatta said all agencies will take serious measures to ensure such an incident does not occur again.

 “My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of the affected. Our agencies are taking urgent actions to contain the situation and alleviate further suffering,” said Uhuru.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said if the owners of the school had complied with construction regulations, the tragic incident would have been avoided.

He said the school owners constructed an additional floor without approval from the government.

“The learning of our pupils will not be distracted again by such issues. If the owners of this school were working in an ideal situation, they should have come for approvals from the ministry,” he said.

Opposition Chief Raila Odinga condemned the tragedy, saying its cause should be fully probed.

“It is heart breaking to lose young Kenyans in such a tragedy. We must get to the bottom of how it came to this,” he said.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko attributed the collapse of the  building to rogue county officials.  He accused the officials of issuing building permits illegally while he accused the Ministry of Education of negligence. 

In a statement, Sonko said he had unveiled a ring of crooked officials in the county planning department, who collude with developers to put up buildings illegally.

“Following numerous complaints from land owners, property developers and the general public against the Nairobi City County Planning Department, I commissioned a comprehensive systems audit that exposed the activities of rogue officers within my administration,” he said.

According to construction experts, the school building was a disaster-in-waiting.

Secretary of National Building Inspectorate Moses Nyakiogora said its floors were weak as they were built using weak wire mesh. “The owner of this school was never serious. The slab was poorly done as it was made using a weak mesh and poor mix,” he said.

The government has closed the school for four days for investigations to be carried out.

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