Meru County bans its firefighters from school fire tragedies

Governor kiraitu Murungi and the Eastern Regional Education Cordinator Margaret Lesuuda at the Meru county education stakeholders meeting at the Kaaga Girls High School on July 11, 2018. [Photo: Wainaina Ndung'u/ Standard]
County government fire fighters will no longer respond to outbreaks in schools.

Instead, Governor Kiraitu Murungi has asked schools to prevent fire outbreaks.

Speaking at an education stakeholders' meeting in Meru town on Thursday, Mr Murungi said: "We are pained by cases of arson when we see school property destroyed because we have contributed towards these institutions from our meagre resources".

He added: "We may be leaders in firefighting after receiving equipment from donors in the United Kingdom, but we will not respond to distress calls by schools facing student unrest because these fires can be prevented."

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Kiraitu's remarks came as 10 schools reported cases of student unrest and destruction of property in the past two weeks.

He urged school principals and boards of management to invest in intelligence "because most cases of the unrest have indicated school managers are out of touch with the students".

"Not even governments can survive without investing in intelligence," said Kiraitu.

The governor said he supported a declaration by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed that parents would have to bear the cost of repairing school facilities destroyed in cases of unrest.

And to lessen the burden on parents, Kiraitu urged schools to insure property against fire. "If schools lost property in fires and needed to replace their facilities, we shall only help if they show us evidence of insurance cover," said Kiraitu.

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Kiraitu also encouraged teachers to support transfer of head teachers, saying it was in the interest of the country.

"It will be very foolish for one to go to primary school, secondary school and university in one county and then work there all their lives because their idea of the nation would be very lopsided," said Kiraitu. 

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Governor Kiraitu Murungischool unrestmeru countyUnited KingdomAmina Mohamed