Pipeline Explosion: CWS Situation Report 09-17-11

SITUATION: A gasoline pipeline explosion earlier this week (Monday, Sept. 12) in the Sinai district of Nairobi, Kenya, killed at least 96 persons, prompting renewed worries about the vulnerabilities of poor communities to hazards like unsafe pipelines.

A 2008 report by the University of Nairobi indicated that the largest slum areas of Nairobi were constructed on land not suitable for human habitation, the Associated Press reported in the wake of the disaster.

Government authorities were repeatedly warned about the perils of residents living on top of the gasoline pipeline that leaked fuel and then exploded, the AP report said.
Doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital were overwhelmed by medical demands for the patients who sustained major burns, saying additional blankets, bed sheets and blood donations were needed.

RESPONSE: An initial assessment by CWS and other members of the ACT Alliance Kenya Forum indicated an immediate need by survivors for blankets, utensils, tents and for psycho-social support. CWS expects to provide some assistance to survivors of this disaster.

HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.