Fire kills 11, days before planned visit by Queen Elizabeth’s daughter
Police in Uganda are investigating the cause of a fire that killed 11 visually impaired students at a local school for the blind.
The inferno broke out in the middle of the night, in one of the dormitories at Salama School for the Blind in Mukono District, where over 20 girls, aged between seven and 10 were sleeping in.
Salama is a Swahili word for “safety”.
Media reports indicate that over six pupils have been admitted to a local hospital with various injuries while 11 were burnt beyond recognition. Authorities are yet to establish the real cause of the fire.
The tragedy struck barely three days before the hosted
The school was also in preparation for the planned visit of Princess Anne, the second child and only daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Princess Anne is due to visit the school on October 28, 2022, though it is not clear whether the tour will go on as planned.
Fire outbreaks have been common in learning institutions in Uganda
Though the country’s Ministry of Education in March, attributed the fire outbreaks in schools to a lack of occupational permits, especially among private schools, the daily Monitor reported.
The ministry had directed schools to acquire permits from the local government. Schools were then directed to “publicly display their occupational permits to parents and visitors”.
In 2008, the government issued guidelines on how schools could address fire outbreaks by having a clearly marked emergency exits, sickbays, establishing a security committee and having a fully stocked firefighting equipment.
But the measures have done little to tame the rising incidences of school fires that have claimed dozens of innocent lives.