A fire has swept through a boys’ hostel at Rusangu Boarding Secondary School burning the pupils’ properties worth thousands of kwacha.
The fire whose cause has not yet been established is believed to have started around 12 hours when all pupils were attending church service.
The fire also burnt most parts of the asbestos roof of the building leaving a trail of destruction.
Monze District Commissioner (DC) Mwanza Malambo who rushed to the scene expressed sadness over the development.
He also thanked the fire department for the quick response in quenching the fire which could have spread to other buildings.
The District Commissioner has since pledged full government assistance to the more than 80 affected grade nine and eight pupils at the school.
“Government is deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident which has not only burnt properties for pupils but also destroyed the roof of the building. And as a government I wish to say that definitely we are moving in to help as soon as possible so that we can ameliorate the suffering of our students. Thankfully, no lives have been lost in the inferno, “said Mr Mwanza.
“Other than that as a government we shall have to rebuild this hostel as it is completely damaged from this fire, ” he said.
He further called on well-wishers to also come on board and offer help to the affected pupils, majority of whom come from poor families and cannot afford new school requisites.
Monze Town Council Chairperson Powell Mutenguna said there was a need for the government to procure more fire engines to effectively control fires in the district.
He also advised school management to desist from overcrowding pupils in hostels but leave enough space to help in preventing fires from spreading.
“I wish to express my sadness over this incident and I wish to request the government to buy more fire engines to help us quickly respond to fire outbreaks. Also I wish to advise school management to stop overcrowding pupils in dormitories as one of the preventive measures to stop the spread of fire if it breaks out,” said Mr. Mutenguna.
Parents Teachers Association ( PTA) Chairperson Harry Kanyama has appealed for immediate help in the form of blankets, mattresses, books, school groceries from well-wishers to enable affected students continue with their education.
He said the affected pupils only managed to salvage a few things when the fire was quenched.
” For us this is a disaster because all the pupils lost their belongings which included the blankets, clothes, books, groceries, mattresses among other things and we wish to beg for well-wishers to come and assist these pupils so that they can continue with their academic studies, ” said Mr..Kanyama.
Education standards Officer Kabila Simbuwa said the Hostel accommodated grades eight and nine whom he said that there were about sit for their examinations in a few weeks’ time.
He said the incident would affect the pupil’s performance in their examinations as all their books have been burnt to ashes.
“The grade nine pupils were also accommodated in this hostel that has been gutted and this incident will surely affect them in the forthcoming examination as all their books have been burnt to ashes. We just pray that help comes quickly so that we see how best we can help them, “said Mr.Simbuwa.