School Stampede in Kenya Kills 14 Children

Family members grieving outside of Kakamega County Referral Hospital Family members grieving outside of Kakamega County Referral Hospital BBC

5 February 2020

An inexplicable stampede in a Kenyan primary school has left 14 dead and nearly 40 injured

On February 3 at 5pm, in Kakamega Primary School, students were leaving class when a sudden commotion arose, causing students to rush out of the building. The reasons for the stampede are currently unclear. For the time being, the school will be closed until Monday to allow for further investigation.

Kakamega Primary School is located in western Kenya and was described by Education Minister George Magoha as “the best performing in the region”. Magoha also commented on the “orderliness” of the school, thus arguing that overcrowding, which has been an issue in many Kenyan schools ever since education became free in 2003, was not the cause of the occurrence. One past incident was the collapse of a classroom in Nairobi last year which led to the deaths of eight students. However, if not overcrowding, the cause of the collapse is unclear. Juliet Wuyichenga, whose nine year old daughter June died in the stampede, told reporters, “I am in pain because in the morning she was fine when we left each other. Then another pupil tells me she is dead."

The Kenyan Red Cross posted on Twitter that they will be providing emergency services, and victims are being treated at Kakamega County Referral Hospital. Additionally, a counseling center has been started for parents in grief. Kakamega Police Chief David Kabena told reporters an investigation is going on in order to, “establish what exactly happened.”


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Author: Noelle Musolino; Editor: Vito Quaglia

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