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No let up as more dormitories go up in flame

By Standard Team | July 16th 2018
A dormitory at Hola Secondary School in Tana River County that was burnt on Friday. [Hassan Barissa, Standard]

A dormitory hosting 76 students at Nyahururu Boys High School in Nyandarua County was razed as the wave of unrest continues to spread.

No casualties were reported during the 8pm incident as students were in class for evening studies. The fire that reportedly started shortly after 7:30 pm on Saturday, left a trail of destruction as the affected students made frantic efforts to salvage their property.

Nyandarua County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich, said the cause of the fire that razed the dormitory adjacent to the kitchen and dining hall, is yet to be established.

Firefighters from the Nyahururu Fire Brigade joined students to put out the fire before it could spread to other dormitories.

The County Commissioner said security guards who spotted the fire raised the alarm and informed the school administration and the Nyahururu fire brigade.

Mr Cherutich who was accompanied by the school's Board of Management (BoM) chairman Dr Raphael Kang'ethe and Education Officer Joan Muthoni, said it was that the school should not be closed since only 76 students out of more than 900 were affected.

"We have decided to accommodate them elsewhere and will continue with investigations," he said.

Dr Kang'ethe said the school has also increased the number of teachers and security guards on duty at night to monitor the students. The BoM was scheduled to meet to give further directions and review reports about the fire.

In Tana River, students spent the night in the cold after fire gutted a dormitory at Hola Boys Secondary School on Saturday.

In Lamu County, a dormitory went up in flames at Mokowe Secondary School on Friday. An electrical fault was suspected to have caused the fire.

Two other schools in Kilifi have been closed following unrest over the death of a student. Galana Secondary School, a girls' and boys' day and boarding school in Magarini, was closed on Monday last week after students protested the death of a Form Four candidate and the admission of four others to Mjanaheri Health Centre after contracting an undisclosed illness. They were later discharged. Shangweni Secondary School, a mixed day school in Ganze was also shut after students torched the staff room on Monday last week. Reports indicate the arson attack followed the posting of a leaflet on the gate threatening to burn the school over alleged highhandedness by teachers and poor meals.

Meanwhile, learning at Hola Boys has been crippled following an inferno that razed a dormitory while students were in class. About 101 students were forced to spend the night in the cold. Nothing was salvaged from the fire.

Police who arrived in the morning said they are still investigating the cause of fire that is suspected to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Deputy principal Juma Matezo said they are yet to establish the cause of the fire. “The cause of the fire is not known but we hope the police will establish that soon,” he said.

The board of management committee led by chairman Kalif Bahola said there was no cause for alarm as no one was injured. [James Munyeki, Hassan Barisa and Jane Mugambi]

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