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Milton Margai Fire Outbreak: NDMA Concludes Assessment, Commits to Swift and Effective Response

Freetown, 24th February 2022 — Following the recent fire outbreak at the Milton Margai School for the Blind that gutted the school’s boarding home facility (CHRISTOFELL HOUSE) and destroyed properties worth millions of Leones on Monday 21 February 2022, the National Disaster Management Agency immediately commenced an assessment to ascertain the cause of fire and the extent of damage caused, and inform the type and level of response.

Initial findings by the assessment team suggested that the fire outbreak was caused by an electrical malfunctioning in the main senior dormitory, which was empty because the senior students were on holiday. The fire quickly spread across the entire top floor of the building that used to host the office of the matron and the other dormitory for junior pupils. Fortunately, and due to the timely intervention of the National Fire Force (NFF) to put out the fire, no death was recorded. The pupils were rushed out to safety, save for four of them who sustained injuries while scrambling out to escape the fire and are currently undergoing medical treatments at the emergency hospital.

The National Disaster Management Agency, through its Directorate of Relief and Response, summoned an emergency coordination meeting on Wednesday 23 February 2022 with its partners (Save the Children, Caritas, Ministry of Social Welfare, World Vision, Handicap International, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, All for One and Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education) to canvass support for the affected pupils and staff members of the school.

The NDMA is glad to inform the public that the meeting with the aforementioned organizations and/or ministries was highly successful. The partners have committed themselves to providing the most needed relief items to help ease the devastating effect of the fire and get them back to school.

Several commitments were made including the provision of used clothing, mattresses, educational materials, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, transfer of kids to a better facility until the school is re-constructed while the NDMA will continue to engage the Ministry of Works to comprehensively carry out structural integrity assessment on the burnt building for further action.

According to the Director-General, NDMA, Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Brima Sesay, said that the response to this fire incident should be immediate. “Taking the significance of the school to our kids, the NDMA is ready and committed to accumulating the necessary support from partners to effectively and immediately respond to this incident and get the school up and running again”. He assured.

The National Disaster Management Agency will continue to fulfil its mandate by providing the required leadership to effectively and efficiently manage disaster-related incidences in the country.

For emergency, call 1199 using any Africell line for free.

For More Enquiries:

Directorate of Communications

National Disaster Management Agency

Contact: +23278388946

Email: mohamedlbah@ndma.gov.sl

17Chrispin Ngaojia Hopanda Kamara, Sheku Yamadugu Koroma and 15 others1 CommentLikeCommentShare

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