Spirits of Nairobi is publishing some heartbreaking stories from Huruma tragedy survivors. Here’s one of them.
“I came from work around nine o’clock at night. It was raining very heavily so after getting in the house I just removed my soaked clothes and remain with a vest and a short. My wife and two kids had already taken supper, so she served me alone.
Just when I was about to start eating, I heard noises from the ground floor. I heard people shouting that the house had cracked and was just about to start crumbling. So I got out of the house to investigate. When I got in the street I found people gazing at a huge crack on the side of the building. The crack seemed to be growing rapidly. Powders of dust were raining on the ground floor from the upper floors.
I rushed back to my house in fourth floor and told my wife to pick the kids and run outside. I was left behind looking for a trouser and a blanket to cover one of my babies who is just four weeks old. Just before I could open the door and rush outside, I heard something like an earthquake and felt dizzy.
It took several seconds to realize I was buried under the rubble. A huge block of concrete was pressing hard on my left leg, from the waist all the way to the feet. Above my head there was a small space through which I was breathing through. Luckily I was almost next to the balcony, not at the center of the building. So I started pushing stones away to widen the hole until I squeezed through.
Not too far from me a woman was screaming and crying for help. So after I came out, I struggled and widened the space and squeezed back to reach her. Luckily, it’s only her head that was trapped by two stones. So I struggled and freed her. After her head was freed I grabbed her neck and pulled her outside. When I tried to walk I stumbled and fell. I had a dislocation in my waist.
The Red Cross team reached me after ten minutes and carried me to the ambulance and took me to Kenyatta National Hospital. Since coming back from the hospital on Sunday I haven’t even gone back to the accident scene. I lost everything but I am grateful to God for saving my life.
I have been living here at the Starehe Social Hall and I don’t know which will be my next move. My wife has a small baby, hence can’t live with me here because it’s cold so she is being accommodated by my brother in Mathare. Its only by God’s grace I got from work just on time, otherwise I can’t imagine what could have happened to my family”