Blackspot: 'Shimala Vandu' is where people perish in Western Kenya

  • The spot experiences an average of two fatal accidents per month
  • Stray black chicken wander around the spot but villagers never grab them

The one-kilometre stretch of road from Bishop Stam Pastoral Centre heading to Kakamega along the Kakamega-Webuye road is perhaps the most dangerous stretch in Western Kenya, with an average of two accident- mostly fatal per month.

Churches have held crusades to exorcise the area of ‘demons.’ But these prayers seem to just offer a temporary reprieve.

The remains of those who lost their lives at this black spot are often ferried from the Kakamega morgue through this very section of road to their final resting place.

This is done so that relatives can collect the “spirits of the departed lest they call other souls to the world of darkness,” a boda boda rider told The Nairobian.

Stray black chickens wander around the spot, but villagers never grab them for a meal. “These (black chickens) are thrown away by families whose relatives have died on the spot. They are usually black only the greedy grab and sell them to backstreet hotels in Kakamega. They are cooked and sold to unsuspecting patrons,” said a villager at Bishop Stam area who did not wish to be named.

The area was christened Shimala Vandu, which loosely translates to, ‘place where people perish,” explains Edwin Odanga, a boda boda rider who plies the road.


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