Accidents on Kenyan Roads Involving School Buses on the Rise, Catholic Bishop Calls for “comprehensive measures”

Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru during the opening of the 10th edition of the Catholic Private Education Institutions Association-Kenya (CaPEIA-K) conference on Tuesday, 16 April 2024. Credit: Capuchin TV

Road accidents involving vehicles of learning institutions in Kenya are on the rise, the Catholic Bishop heading the Commission for Education and Religious Education (CERE) of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has noted with concern.

In his speech during the opening of the 10th edition of the Catholic Private Education Institutions Association-Kenya (CaPEIA-K) conference on Tuesday, April 16, Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru called for “comprehensive measures” to ensure the safety of learners on Kenyan roads. 

“We must ensure that school vehicles used during trips are mechanically sound, insurance are up to date and drivers engaged are competent to handle the vehicles,” Bishop Kariuki said during the opening event at the main campus of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Karen, Nairobi.

He called on Kenyan learning institutions to “adhere to safety protocols issued by the government for the safety of learners on our roads and ensure that night travel is avoided at all costs.”

“Ensuring the safety of learners in our schools is of paramount importance. It is essential to provide comprehensive measures to safeguard them from harm, including accidents and incidents that may occur during school activities,” the pioneer Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Wote since last September emphasized.  


He added, “From well-maintained facilities to trained staff and emergency protocols, every aspect of school safety requires careful attention and planning.” 

By prioritizing safety measures, he said, “schools can create environments where children can learn and thrive with confidence knowing that their wellbeing is always a top priority.”

There has been a rise in reported road accidents involving vehicles with students aboard. According to Kenya’s Citizen Digital, more than 20 students have died and another 115 injured in reported road accidents since April 2023.

On March 18, 11 Kenyatta University (KU) students were confirmed dead when their school bus ferrying 58 learners to the coastal city of Mombasa for an academic trip crashed with a trailer.

Days later, on March 27, 12 students of Kenya’s Moi University sustained injuries when their bus was involved in an accident in the Kimende area, around 49 kilometers from Nairobi. The 50 university students were headed to Mombasa.

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On April 1, a student from Chavakali Boys High School died and several others were left injured after the bus they were traveling in overturned. The students traveling in a hired Easy Coach bus were headed home for holidays. 

In his remarks on the first day of the CaPEIA-K conference, Bishop Kariuki also emphasized the need to seek parental consent when organizing academic trips, emphasizing that it “is crucial in ensuring the well-being of our learners.” 

The Chairman of CERE explained, “Parental consent ensures parents are informed about the nature of the trip, potential risks involved, and emergency procedures.”

Parental consent, he continued, “also allows parents to provide information about their child’s health and special needs enabling educators to make necessary preparations and to ensure a safe and inclusive experience for all learners.”

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