7 Worst School Fires in Kenya’s History
Fortunately, none of the current school fires are among the worst in Kenyan history because no lives have been lost.
Several students were injured, and the property was damaged. Here are some of the worst school fires in the country’s history:
- Bombolulu Girls Secondary School – 1998
In 1998, a dormitory with approximately 130 students at Bombolulu Girls’ Secondary School, now known as Mazeras Memorial Secondary School, caught fire.
That night, 26 girls were killed in a school fire in Kwale County.
- Nyeri High School – 1999
Four school prefects were set on fire at Nyeri High School.
The prefects were allegedly locked up in a dormitory cubicle and set on fire.
Their assailants were thought to be some of their suspended classmates.
- Kyanguli Secondary School – 2001
In 2001, another tragedy occurred. In Machakos County, 63 boys were burned to death in a dormitory at Kyanguli Mixed Secondary School.
In March 2016, the High Court awarded KSh 40 million in compensation to the parents and guardians of the form four students who died in the school fire.
The court held the then-head teacher, David Mutiso Kiilu, and his deputy, Stephen Kasyoka, responsible for failing to act after receiving reports that some students were planning to set fire to some properties.
Felix Mambo and David Onyango, both 16, were eventually charged with the senseless act of arson that resulted in mass murder.
The majority of the dead were buried in a mass grave, their young embers extinguished by a single act of madness, as is common in such disasters.
- Endarasha Boys Secondary School – 2010
In 2010, students at Endarasha Boys Secondary School apparently set fire to a dormitory, killing two of their classmates.
The doors were locked, and the bodies of the deceased were discovered near the exit door; they attempted to escape.
- Asumbi Girls Boarding Primary School – 2012
A dormitory at Asumbi Girls Boarding Primary School in Homa Bay County was destroyed by fire in August 2012.
The incident claimed the lives of eight students. An electrical fault was suspected to have started the fire.
- Stephjoy Boys High School – 2015
Two boys were killed in a fire at Stephjoy Boys High School in Limuru, Kiambu county, in August 2015.
- Moi Girls High School in Nairobi –2017
A fourteen-year-old girl who begged her parents for a transfer for numerous reasons set fire to her Kabarnet dormitory.
The young lady despised Moi Girls High School. She complained that the toilets were filthy and that she despised being forced to clean them.
Ten of her fellow students were killed.
Traces of petrol or petroleum products were discovered after an examination of the ashes from areas near the washrooms, according to the judge.
“I am not able to attribute the presence of petrol in the dormitory to the accused without any evidence to that effect, but a fire did start on her bed,” the judge said.
After being acquitted of murder, the student was found guilty of manslaughter in December 2021.
She was sentenced to five years in jail