The Star (Nairobi)

16 November 2012

Kenya: Hostel Bedbugs Bite KMTC Mombasa Students Into Rage

Effigy of principal at Kenya medical training college Mombasa campus during the protest by KMTC students, they demanded the removal of their principal Anderson Yeri from the college, the school was yesterday closed indefinably .Photo/Elkana Jacob

Kenya Medical Training College Mombasa campus principal Anderson Yeri yesterday admitted that the students' beddings are infested with bedbugs.

However, Yeri refuted claims by the students that their rooms have never been fumigated. He said the number of bedbugs reduced significantly after the college contracted Rentokil to fumigate the entire college.

On Wednesday, students took to the streets to complain of poor management and sanitation. The students said the college's hygiene was wanting and that is why their bedding had been infested with bedbugs.

"It is true there has been bedbugs, but the college called in Rentokil to spray and fumigate all the hostels," said Yeri. "I am made to understand the bedbugs have reduced. We have done all we can."

The more than 500 medical students carried twigs and old, tattered mattresses and called for the removal of Yeri. They said the rooms have never been fumigated.

"We are not only after the transfer of the principal, but we also want the issues of sanitation addressed. Our rooms have never been sprayed. Bedbugs are the order of the day," said student representative Wycliffe Ochieng.

The students claimed that the college has been running without water for the last one week. Ochieng said that their quests to get their problems solved for the last one year have been ignored.

"We have been talking to the student leadership about the problems and we had agreed on a formula of addressing some of them. I was shocked to see them on the streets on Wednesday morning,"Yeri said.

"How can you be telling people in the hospital practice hygiene in hospital when you are living in a dilapidated and pathetic lifestyle? Let the management be changed so that some of our problems can be addressed," said Wendy Kizito, a second year student.

The continued quest for urgent solutions by the students led to indefinite closure of the college yesterday after they defied orders by the college's management to resume classes as their grievances were being sorted out.

A contingent of regular police officers and anti-riot police watched as the students packed their belonging. He said the water problem is common in Mombasa at the moment.

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