Two fire outbreaks had been recorded in the Islamic Senior High School (SHS) in the Wa Municipality between January and February, 2020, causing havoc to property.
first outbreak occurred on January 17, 2020, and burnt portions of the girls’ dormitory, while they were at preps and they had to be relocated to a recently built dormitory, which had 215 student capacity.
The latest incident affected the same girls’ dormitory at about 0830 hours on Thursday, while the students were at preps but this time razed the whole building and destroying all property belonging to the students.
Mr Alhassan Bafara, Headmaster of the School, said the cause of the fire outbreak was still unknown and that investigations were ongoing.
He expressed shock at the rate of outbreak at a short interval saying, “We are surprised because after the first incident some reassessments were ascertained to see if there were risk on campus that can bring back any hazard”.
He said the assessment went beyond fire outbreaks to look at areas of possible food poisoning, where training was organised for food vendors and kitchen staffs to ensure safety.
Mr Bafara said the Thursday’s outbreak got 20 students sent to the hospital who collapsed as a result of shock and 19 had since been discharged with the exception of one diabetic patient.
He said while internal investigations were still ongoing, the students had currently been relocated to a class room block as a temporary measure.
“The sad thing is that the same students who were affected in the first incident are the same students affect again and they have been relocated the second time,” he lamented.
Mr Abraham Nii Doodo, the Upper West Regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service, said when firemen arrived at the scene the flames were very severe and had to call for another fire tender.
He attributed the fire outbreak to electrical wires hanging loosely and the congestion in the dormitory.
He said the matter required further investigation because of the short interval of the outbreak on the same facility.
Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister who visited to assess extend of damage sympathised with the School especially the affected students.
“Recording two fire cases in one month, one can imagine the stress the students and teachers are going through,” he said.
He said he would collaborate with the Regional Director of Education to quickly set up a committee that will investigate the two incidences and establish certain facts that can permanently resolve the problem.
He said they were amazed to hear that same students who were affected in the first incident and were relocated were the same students who have been affected again.
“There is a lot of suspicion and we cannot rollout the attitude and the character of the students themselves,” he said.