Nairobi County government is yet to construct its own fire station despite having amassed at least Sh1.6 billion in fire inspection revenue since 2013.
The entire Nairobi City, with a population of more than 4 million people, only has two functional fire stations, all built before independence.
This is despite the capital city, especially the informal settlements and markets, experiencing frequent fire outbreaks that have left scores of people dead and others injured with properties of unknown value destroyed in the process.
Kenya National Fire Brigade Association (KENFIBA) secretary general Francis Liech says that between 8 and 10 fire incidents are reported to Nairobi County Fire Brigade control room daily.
The two operational ones are Koja Fire Station along Tom Mboya Street, built in 1907 and another one at Industrial Area built in 1957.
There are two others which are currently under construction, one along Kangundo Road and another at Waithaka, but all are all funded by the World Bank.
There is also one in Gigiri which was reclaimed just last year from a private developer who had allegedly grabbed and turned it into a garage.
According to records in a document presented by officers from City Hall’s Disaster Management and Coordination department while appearing before Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation committee on Friday, the county government received Sh1.63 billion in fire inspection revenue between July, 2013 and February, 2019.
In the 2013/2014 financial year, the department recorded Sh144 million in annual revenue. This increased to Sh148 million the following financial year while in 2015/2016 financial year, Sh162.5 million was collected.
The annual collections almost tripled in 2016/2017 financial year Sh433 million, Sh436.8 million in 2017/2018 while as at March 29, the collection stands at Sh308 million.
But despite the huge collections, City Hall director of Fire and Rescue Services Brian Kisali told the committee that the county government only has 52 fire engines and 120 trained fire fighters but 11 will retire this year and another 13 next year.
“We face three major challenges which affects fire department’s service delivery. We have a shortage of manpower, a lack of proper enforcement because the inspectorate officers are very few and we also lack utility vehicles which are meant to be used by our officers when they go to train the community on fire related issues,” he said.
A planned recruitment of 1, 200 new firefighters last year flopped despite reports that they had even undergone training.
Nevertheless, Mr Kisali said they were awaiting for the proper reconstitution of a new County Assembly Public Service Board come July where they are expecting to get 200 more fire fighters.
In October, 2017, the county was to receive 26 fire engines donated by Somati Vehicles NV, a Belgium-based company.
In 2016, City Hall had only 10 fire engines, of which 4 engines, all second-hand, were donated in August the same year by Japanese government at a tune of Sh200 million.
“We are currently training volunteers across the county and we are in contact with sub-county administrators to organize for more youths to turn out for trainings and join us where they will be given some allowance for their work,” said Mr Kisali.
Last year, County Disaster Management and Coordination chief officer Ann Mwenda said that out of 4, 044 hydrants in Nairobi, only 103 are functioning with most affected being along Thika Super highway.
She stated that the functioning ones are at Safari Park having two, Koja, Globe roundabout, Runda, Kijabe Street, and three at Industrial area, and James Gichuru road although she added that World Bank was doing boreholes across the county at Tom Mboya Street, Enterprise Road, Kangundo Road, Dagoretti and in Waithaka to assist in water availability in places where hydrants are dry.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11