It was a good gesture that turned into a disaster.
A gesture that was supposed to cushion hundreds of Kibra slums residents during this tough time of COVID-19 pandemic but instead left scores injured, angry and still hungry.
Trouble started after a group of impatient residents who had turned up to get a share of the donations started to scramble for food and other goods donated by well wishers to cushion them from the looming crisis that has been brought about by COVID-19.
A stampede occurred, the social distance directive was defied, masks that are supposed to protect individuals from the Coronavirus microbes were left hanging on the neck.
“They need to open this gate and freely and fairly distribute the donations, Coronavirus has made us lose jobs, it has locked us up inside our houses now we have nothing to eat,” cried one resident.
“We have witnessed other donations being distributed at night and not getting to the people who deserve it, that is why we have turned up here hoping to get our share,” cried another woman.
Police had to fire in the area to restore calm while a group of young men resorted to beating the residents using clubs.
A fortnight ago authorities in Uasin Gishu County had to stop a food distribution programme organized by a politician over fears that it might lead to people defying the social distancing rule.
Social distancing rule requires people to observe at least a one and a half meter rule from one another. The rule was adopted as a way of preventing infection from saliva droplets from an infected person to a person who is okay.
Kenya even went a notch higher to ban public gatherings and even set new rules on the number of passengers matatus should carry.
“Apart from from the new matatu rules, we imposed a 7pm to 5am curfew, because people always tend to socialize at these hours, so the curfew will reduce this and hence improve the social distancing rule,” Ministry of Health Director General Dr. Amoth explained during an interview with a local TV.
The new rules have adversely affected majority of the slum residents who live from hand to mouth.
Kenya has so far confirmed at least 189 cases of COVID-19 cases, seven deaths and 22 recoveries.
The Kibera incident occurred even as hundreds of Kenyans condemned the action saying it had put many lives in danger and at the risk of coronavirus.