Qwetu Student Residences has completed a series of safety drills across its six properties that house over 3,800 college and university students in Nairobi. The drills were staged over the past two weeks as part of Qwetu management’s commitment to ensure that all properties meet the highest safety standards and improve overall preparedness in response to emergencies.
During the drills, various simulation exercises including fire and first aid safety simulations were conducted by Qwetu and supported by the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU), AAR, Nairobi Fire Brigade, and the National Police Service.
Speaking after the exercise, Cyrus Maina, Chief Administration Officer at NDMU, lauded Qwetu for taking the initiative to enhance the safety and emergency preparedness of its hostels, adding that the entire exercise was a success.
“I would like to commend Qwetu for their overall preparedness. It shows that they are always thinking about the safety and security of their clients. When we do these drills, we promote awareness: to the occupants, the members of the public, and even the responders,” he said.
Part of the safety precautions that Qwetu has in place at its student residences includes fire suppression systems and fire and smoke detection systems. The properties also offer regular training on the use of fire extinguishers and first aid, in addition to having trained fire marshals on site.
“We conduct fire drills for several reasons, primarily to test our internal systems and to make sure that our tenants and their parents/guardians know what to do in the event of an alarm situation. When we talk about health and safety, the most important group are the students. We want to be the forerunners in what we do, so the health and safety of the students are first and foremost. We have therefore set standards over and above Kenyan legal compliance to continue fulfilling our mission to transform the landscape of rental housing for young people in Kenya starting with a commitment to provide safe, secure and affordable quality student accommodation,” said Maina.
On his part, Wilson Wanjiru, Leading Fireman at the Nairobi County Fire Department, reiterated the need for property owners to adhere to the law and conduct annual fire drills, commending Qwetu for the initiative.