devastating fire engulfed two hostels at Kabianga University on the evening of Wednesday, April 19, resulting in the loss of countless personal possessions and leaving many students displaced. This harrowing incident occurred on the very day the university reopened following a temporary closure due to student unrest.
Kabianga University had been closed for two weeks after students staged protests over the government’s delayed disbursement of Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funds and a proposed increase in tuition fees. In response to the protests, the university suspended several students, including some student union officials who were implicated in leading the demonstrations.
The fire, whose origin remains a mystery, consumed Hostels 6 and 7, primarily housing first-year students and a smaller number of continuing students. This marks the second time these hostels have been targeted by enigmatic fires. Emergency responders from the Kericho County Government and James Finlays Tea Company worked tirelessly to extinguish the inferno and prevent further damage.
Kericho police have initiated an investigation to determine the cause of the blaze. There is growing speculation that the fire may have been set intentionally by students, potentially as a response to the recent unrest on campus. As the inquiry continues, the Kabianga University community looks to recover from this devastating event and support those students most affected by the loss of their homes and belongings.