Mosquito nets fueling school fires – Uganda Police

Mosquito nets fueling school fires - Uganda Police
On Sunday November 11th, 2018, fire gutted St. Bernard’s SSS Manya in Rakai District

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Directorate of Fire Prevention and Rescue Services has advised schools against the use of mosquito-nets in the dormitories. The caution is aimed at reducing fire catalysts in dormitories and around schools.

The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets is recognized as the most effective measure in the prevention of malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The disease is Uganda’s leading cause of death among in-patients.

But despite the significance of mosquito nets in the prevention of Malaria, Eli Walusimbi, the community liaison’s officer in the Police Fire Prevention and Rescue Services department says they should be eliminated from school dormitories.

Walusimbi says their investigations into the schools’ infernos that have occurred in the different parts of the country have largely highlighted that mosquito nets intensified the fire and damage. He sounded the warning during the pass out of at least 34 students who completed basic training in fire prevention and management skills in Kyotera district.

Read Also: Eyewitness account of Rakai school fire

Walusimbi explains that they are now encouraging school administrators to use the other combination mosquito prevention approaches of; indoor spraying, electronic repellent gadgets and wall paints.

Mosquito nets fueling school fires - Uganda Police
Burnt dormitory

Walusimbi explains that in addition to other safety standards that include de-congesting dormitories, removing triple-decker beds, removing window burglar-proof, putting in place emergency exit roots among others, they also want the schools to gradually eliminate mosquito nets.

He says that are also going to reach out to the ministry of Education and Sports with a proposal to make some adjustments in the school safety requirements to adopt the recommendation.

Mosquito nets fueling school fires - Uganda Police
A burnt school dormitory. Police says mosquito nets have been a catalyst of school fires

Alex Kakooza, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports also confirms that there are already ongoing studies on the possibility of having mosquito nets eliminated from school dormitories as a safety measure.