Fire Destroys Dormitories At Rakai School

7452 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
Fire has burnt dormitories at St. Mary’s Secondary School, Sanje in Rakai district leaving an estimated 1200 students without accommodation.

Fire has burnt dormitories at St. Mary’s Secondary School, Sanje in Rakai district leaving an estimated 1200 students without accommodation.

St. Mary’s Secondary school is located in Sanje trading Centre, Kakuuto Sub County along Masaka-Mutukula Highway.

Some students who witnessed the fire outbreak told Uganda Radio Network on phone that the fire started at around 8am on Thursday from one of the dormitories. They claim that three unidentified men who had been carrying out repairs in the dormitory could have caused the fire. One student who identified himself as Moses Mukasa explains that the three men were carrying out welding of beds and minutes later they saw fire breaking out. He says the men disappeared after failing to contain the fire.

Vincent Ssemakula, the former Rakai LC5 Chairman who rushed to the school says the fire has destroyed two dormitories. He says iron sheets and students’ property worth millions of shillings has been destroyed.

Ssemakula, who is also the presidential advisor of local government, says up to around 11am the fire was still burning because there were no fire fighters to put it out. He explains that students who lost books, pens, mattresses and other personal belongings simply looked on and cried as they could not help put the fire down.

Steven Ssebunya, one of the parents at the school, who also rushed to the scene, says his children had just reported to school on Monday. He says he is worried about where he will get money to buy other scholastic materials.

Apollo Muhairwe, the Officer in Charge of Sanje police station, says they could not put out the fire because they did not have any fire-fighting equipment. He says he just called Masaka Fire Brigade to rush in and help but by around midday, they had not arrived.

The burnt buildings were constructed by World Vision Uganda in early 2000.
This incident adds to a long list of yet-to-be explained fires burning schools over the last five years. In June last year, five pupils died in fire that burnt a dormitory at Leo’s School in Masaka. This prompted President Yoweri Museveni to say that government would carry out investigations into the causes of the fire outbreaks in schools across the country.
In April 2008, at least 20 pupils of Buddo Junior School died in the fire that burnt their dormitory at night.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.