Kenya bans “uncoordinated direct” food donations after Friday stampede

The Kenyan government has banned “uncoordinated direct” donations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, following a Friday stampede in Kibera, an informal settlement area in Nairobi.

Scores of people were injured in the chaos after a stampede erupted as thousands of residents gathered to receive food donations.

The desperate residents gathered at a district office to get food donated by former prime minister Raila Odinga to cushion them from hunger amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation got out of hand and a brief stampede ensued.

“The Government has with immediate effect banned the uncoordinated direct distribution of food and non-food donations within communities across the Republic of Kenya,” a statement by the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i read in part.

“In Nairobi, any donors and well-wishers who would like to contribute to the coronavirus response actions, are asked to channel or coordinate their contributions through the Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.”

Kenya is one of 52 African countries that have reported cases of COVID-19. The East African country has recorded 191 cases and 7 deaths. 24 patients have successfully recovered.

Africa has reported close to 11,000 COVID-19 cases, with over 500 deaths. Over 1,000 people have recovered.