After the Sinai tragedy one would not believe there would be another incident of people siphoning petrol from an overturned petrol truck. Most victims of Sinai fire tragedy have not been buried, those affected are yet to be resettled, yet it is unbelievable that Kenyans have not learned from these petrol tragedies of the past like the one in Sachangwan and even this one that is still fresh. Daring Kenyans still went to siphon petrol from this truck on Kisumu-Busia road in Western Kenya. What is this? Is it that the people do not hear what is happening in other parts of Kenya, many means of communications available in Kenya are Television, if one has no Television at least every home has a Radio and now nearly every home has a mobile and most mobiles now have FM Radios, those who are too poor to have these at least visit their neighbors or markets where they get information, so where is the problem?
May be it is poverty and greed, to an extent that one is willing to die making money as a matter of life and death. Like a sticker that is common in public vehicles “get rich quick or die trying to”. This is grave desperation imagine a father, a mother risking their lives to get something like Kshs500 ($5.2) from 5 liters of petrol (pump price would be a little more), because of jostling from the crowd it would be difficult to get a lot from the tank, then die living their children as orphans hence more suffering because of making some 500 bob? This is crazy. Kenyans have seen and heard about the tragedies, warnings have been sent by the Government, leaders and the media but nothing has changed. It cannot be that they do not understand the language used to relay the message because we have FM stations in different vernacular in Kenya, Inooro FM, Kameme FM, Milembe FM, Ramogi FM, Kass FM, Musyi FM, Chamge FM, Just to name a few. All these stations have passed messages but nothing has changed. A petrol tanker will overturn even today if there are no police around people will rush to siphon petrol not caring about the danger involved and the incident that happened yesterday. The question Kenyans are asking, how can this be stopped?
I think it is about time concerned organizations like the Government through the Ministries involved, The Red Cross, Kenya Pipeline, Petrol Transporters because it is their drivers and vehicle causing most problems and other organizations that may help put up adverts Bill Boards would be a better option especially on our highways. The adverts should be in Kiswahili and other vernacular if need be. The words of the adverts should be clear warning of the consequences of siphoning petrol. It should also be a criminal offense. If possible pictures of previous scenes and victims can be used to pass on a message. It should also be clear to people that the Government or any organization involved will not compensate victims who willingly went to collect petrol from a scene of accident or anyone living in an area with a petrol pipe as the case of Sinai. Drivers of the vehicles should also report the accidents immediately in this case there should be emergency numbers to report the cases. This is because the Government is loosing a lot of money on treatment, compensations and other costs involved.
Apart from petrol related tragedies, everyday there are reports of road accidents, very bad ones, traffic police have been blamed for corruption and now they are trying to enforce rules that they have ignored. It has not been a good year after the severe drought that affected many Kenyans in the Northern part of Kenya. The latest tragedies are just weird because of the occurrence, it is like the evil one has visited our country or his agents are at work, I agree with religious leaders who are calling for national prayers it is the right time.