Property worth sh. 7.5 M torched in Lamu dorm fire

The dorm building that burned down in Mokowe Mixed Secondary school in Lamu West. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Property estimated to be worth over Sh.7.5 Million went up in flames following a night dorm fire at the Mokowe Mixed Secondary school in Lamu West on Thursday night.

The school principal Thaddeus Mugute said the fire broke out in the 93 capacity boys dormitory at around 8 pm when the boys were still attending night preps in their various classrooms.

Speaking at the school on Friday morning, Mugute confirmed that more than 90 mattresses, beds and all the students’ belongings that were in the dorm had all been reduced to ashes during the inferno.

He also confirmed that no student was injured in the fire as they were all out for preps.

The cause of the fire is yet to be established.

“We just heard a loud explosion and on coming out we saw the dorm on fire. We weren’t able to save anything. The losses can go well past Sh.7.5 Million because we are still doing further assessments,” said Mugute.

The entire school has a student population of 393, both girls and boys.

A meeting convened by the Lamu West Education Officer Josphat Ngumi is currently underway at the school where a decision on the way forward of learning at the facility is to be reached.

“It’s funny because we had been planning to host all school principals to discuss issues of security and the fires being witnessed countrywide. I cant confirm whether or not the school will be closed. That will be known after the meeting,” said Ngumi.

Back in July 2016, ten students from the same school were arrested by police for attempted arson after they were found in possession of several cans of petrol and matchboxes.

Lamu West OCPD Juma Londo said police were on the ground and that investigation were underway to establish whether the inferno was accidental or deliberate.

Separately at the Witu Secondary school in Lamu West, students were this week sent away by management after they went on a three-day hunger strike to protest what they said was ‘bad food’ being prepared for them at the school.

Lamu West Education officer Josphat Ngumi said the students refused to eat and attend classes making the management ‘worried’ about their health and general well being.

“We had to send all of them home for a week as we think of what to do. Our main concern was that the situation would turn into chaos and cause unrest or even an uglier situation. They are however coming back on Monday,” said Ngumi.

In May this year, the Lamu Boys Secondary school was closed for two weeks after three consecutive fires were recorded in a single week. The school has so far re-opened.