Residents of Dagoretti, a district of Nairobi, Kenya are still in shock, two days after the collapse of a classroom claimed the lives of seven children.
Fifty-seven others were injured when the wooden structure at the Precious Talent Top School collapsed just minutes into the start of the school day Monday.
Tracy Oduor was in her classroom when the tragedy occured.
“We were in class and we were reading and we heard pupils and teachers screaming and the class started collapsing and then…and then a stone came and hit me on the mouth and then we got out of the class and then we were saved. We heard…when we got out of the gate we heard that pupils were dead,” the 10-year old said.
The disaster highlights the “lack of regulation for educational institutions, particularly in this type of informal housing,” said Peter Ouko, the founder of Crime si Poa (The Youth Safety Awareness Initiative).
“Basically this is the quality that is supposed to support slabs. This is a slab that is carrying so many people, so much weight yet you can easily break it with your own hands.”
Ouko added: “As easy as that, this is chicken wire, not a construction material and someone had the guts to use this to build a construction for our kids. I think this is basically premeditated murder. It’s not like – it’s sad, it’s sad, it’s sad, it’s sad, that this could happen.”
Several buildings have collapsed in recent years in Nairobi and other cities in Kenya, a country in the midst of real estate boom.
The quality of construction materials is regularly questioned, including the practice of unscrupulous developers to circumvent regulations through bribes.