Sat | May 30, 2020

Stampede in Kenya as residents surge for food aid

Published:Friday | April 10, 2020 | 9:28 AM
Residents desperate for a planned distribution of food for those suffering under Kenya's coronavirus-related movement restrictions push through a gate and create a stampede, causing police to fire tear gas and leaving several injured, at a district office in the Kibera slum, or informal settlement, of Nairobi, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Thousands of people surged for food aid in a brief stampede Friday in Kenya’s capital, leading police to fire tear gas and injure several people, witnesses said.

Desperate for help as coronavirus-related restrictions make it more difficult to go out and make a living, residents of Nairobi’s Kibera slum gathered for a food distribution near a district office.

They tried to force their way through a gate for their chance at supplies to keep their families fed for another day.

The scene in Kenya’s largest slum reflected the fears of millions across Africa as nearly 20 countries have imposed full lockdowns and others have shut down cities or imposed curfews.

A vast population of informal workers, with little or no savings, worries about the next meal as no one knows when the measures will end.

Already, Rwanda and South Africa have extended their lockdowns by two weeks.

In the Nairobi chaos, men with sticks beat people back as they fought over packages of food, some with face masks dangling off their chins.

Some people fell and were trampled. Dust rose. Women shrieked.

Injured people were carried to safety and placed on the ground to recover, gasping for breath.

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