Suffolk/Kenya: Focus on Africa charity volunteers witness collapsed building tragedy


CHARITY volunteers from Suffolk have come away unscathed after a building collapsed in Kisumu, Kenya, reportedly killing nine people.

Bury St Edmunds resident Zoey Barton, who is there as part of a group of volunteers from the Haverhill-based Focus on Africa charity, contacted the East Anglian Daily Times about Wednesday’s tragedy.

She said yesterday: “From our perspective of the incident, we were sitting by the pool of our hotel, The Imperial, next door to the imploding building.

“This then hit the wall in between, which we were around three to four metres away from at the time. I turned around to see the wall almost exploding outwards and had to rush to the side before the bricks started to fall down, but we are very lucky to all be safe.”

She added: “Remarkably nobody from the group has been injured although there have been lots of the public found dead, many injured and five workers who were on their way to go home have been trapped under the rubble after nearly 40 hours.

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“The Kenyan Red Cross and also members of the public are still hoping and trying to help rescue the workers and find more and more alive every hour.”

News24Kenya reported on Thursday the death toll from the collapsed five-storey building had risen to nine as rescuers searched for victims under the rubble.

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Ms Barton said she was part of a group of nine people from the Focus on Africa charity who are working on projects to help the community around Kisumu.

She said they had decided to continue with their work there until January 27 despite the tragedy.

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