A 78-year-old woman was killed and dozens injured in a stampede during the distribution of relief food donated to cushion poor families against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Trans-Nzoia County.
An eyewitness said Margaret Nekesa was struggling to get a share of the food at a local assistant chief’s office in Machewa when she was hurt.
"My mother was badly injured in the stampede as crowds surged forward to get supplies from the National government. She succumbed to injuries while being treated at a hospital,” said Everlyne Nabukwangwa, the woman’s daughter.
A resident, Dennis Wambalaba said several people including a middle-aged woman with her two twins were injured in the stampede.
‘’Dozens of people including children were injured during the stampede. Most of those injured were rushed to a nearby health facility where they were treated and released to go home,’’ Wambalaba told The Standard, adding that chairs and tables were broken at assistant chief’s office.
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County commissioner Sam Ojwang described the incident as unfortunate.
‘’It is regrettable that life has been lost. This should not have happened. A proper way should have been used to distribute the food,’’ said Ojwang as he condoled with the bereaved family.
Local MP Caleb Amisi asked the National government to treat his constituency the same way other slums like Kibra, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Kawangware were being treated in terms of food distribution.
Speaking in Kitale when he launched the Sh14 million food distribution exercise, Amisi said many of his constituents in the rural constituency’s largest slums of Matisi, Tuwani, Mitume, Kipsongok, and Shanti are suffering due to the curfew that was imposed that has led to the closure of many businesses.
‘’Many of my electorates living in informal slums with little or no savings are a worried lot since they cannot afford food for themselves and their families. The government should avail enough food supplies, water, medicine and other necessities to support these families,’’ he said.
Rights activist in the area Immaculate Shamalal demanded that the family be compensated and the local assistant chief asked to account for the careless actions.