PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday paid homage to at least ten students who perished in a deadly inferno that ripped through a secondary school in Kagera Region on Sunday night.
President Magufuli ordered for a one minute of silence in remembrance of the deceased students during a campaign rally in Chato yesterday.
Tanzanians woke up yesterday to devastating news after a fire broke out at Byamungu Islamic Secondary School, in Kyerwa District, Kagera Region, leaving at least ten students dead.
The fire gutted the students’ dormitory while they were asleep on Sunday night. Kagera Regional Commissioner Brigadier General Marco Gaguti told the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview that ten students were confirmed dead in the blaze and seven others sustained injuries.
“I have already formed a probe team, which comprises security organs. It is too early to establish the cause of the fire incident but so far… We will give more details later,” he said.
Kyerwa District Commissioner Rashid Mwaimu has sent condolences to parents who lost their children in the tragic incident.
The DC appealed for calm and cooperation to establish the cause of the fire outbreak.
Kagera Regional Police Commander (RPC) Revocatus Malimi said that no stone will be left unturned as the law enforcers seek to establish the exact circumstances that caused the fire outbreak.
“Fire broke out on the building at around 2am, while the students were asleep; the building is also used as a dormitory.
Investigations were still in progress,” he said. This is the second incident of similar nature to occur in Kagera Region within two months.
On July 31st, this year another fire incident gutted a one storey building at Kwauso Secondary School in Bukoba Rural District.
Mr Malimi said the fire broke out at the building at around 9.00pm while the students were studying in classes.
The building is also used as a dormitory. Fortunately, he said, there were no casualties.
The Catholic church- owned secondary school was established in 2011 and has a total of 542 students (both boys and girls) in forms one to four.
On July 5th, this year, three form one students were killed when fire broke out at the Ilala Islamic in Dar es Salaam.
The incident involved the second floor dormitory of the school located near the junctions of Kasulu and Arusha streets.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training has also sent condolences to parents, relatives and friends of the deceased students.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Leonard Akwilapo said yesterday while officiating at the 27th meeting of his ministry’s staff council that they have received reports on the death of ten students with great sadness.
“We offer our sincere condolences. The government will investigate and find out the source of the problem’’ Dr Akwilapo said.
He insisted that the government would continue strengthening safety and security in schools through the school quality control department by conducting, inspecting and discovering the source of fire accidents.
Dr Akwilapo said the government will shut down all schools that will fail to meet the required safety standards as he disclosed that the government has so far recruited 400 quality control education officers.
Recently, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed Regional Commissioners in the country to form a special probe committee to establish the electrical installation standards at schools located in their areas.
“The committee comprising experts from TEMESA should investigate to know exactly the standard of electrical installation at the school.
This will minimise the increasing fire outbreak incidents in the schools countrywide,” he said.
He issued the directive during celebrations to mark EID EL ADH’ HAA held in Dar es Salaam. Mr Majaliwa directed officials to ensure that each school is equipped with fire extinguishers, sand and other essential equipment needed in firefighting.
He also tasked the Fire and Rescue Force to conduct regular training sessions to students on firefighting techniques.
The Premier assured religious institutions of the government support while acknowledging the great contribution made by religious institutions in providing essential social services including health and education.