Fire disasters in secondary schools in has been a problem the government of Kenya has not been able to address for over 10 years. This undermines the dispensation of learning activities in many schools. Cases of insecure structures and fires have caused lives of many students in Kenya. In 2017, 9 girls lost lives in Moi girls due to fire. The Ministry of education has come up with various recommendations to improve the
state of safety among our students, but more often, the disasters still happen and claim more lives and property. No meaningful learning can take place in an environment that is unsafe and insecure to both learners and staff. Most fires happen in the dormitories, where students set them on fire. Drug and substance abuse are to blame for indiscipline that leads to students burning their schools.
The MOE has guidelines that govern the design of spaces, including widths of corridors, number of students in a cube, amount of doors and direction they open, grills on windows among others, however, many school heads have not put that into consideration. Most schools have no capacity to handle fire disasters and have not implemented Safety Standards. The target population were dormitory spaces of three schools within Nairobi county; Moi girls, Nairobi school and Aquinas High school. The study highlights the safety situation, outlines the main causes of fire disasters, examines the constraints in the implementation of safety measures and explores major strategies put in place to prevent occurrence of disasters. The main reason schools were not able to fully implement the standards was due to inadequate funds. This result in structures where in an event a fire, schools incur loss of lives and property worth millions of shillings.
The document gives recommendations on actions the ministry of education and other stakeholders need to put in place to avert such calamities in future. This involves a revision into the materials we use for the walls,
floor and roofs, careful considerations in design of sleeping areas, and strict adherence to MOE guidelines on design of spaces.