Cabinet issues serious recommendations to Curb fire outbreaks at Makerere University

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The Main building at Makerere University which was gutted by fire in September 2020; Courtesy Photo

The Fire Brigade at Makerere University will be equipped to full capacity and the University will have a standby fire fighting truck to effectively and efficiently respond to fires, according to the latest measures government has put in place to avoid fire outbreaks at the institution.

The measures are part of the recommendations by cabinet following a fire incident at the country’s highest institution of learning last year in September, in which the monumental “Ivory Tower” was razed down in flames and key documents of the university destroyed. Makerere Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe later told reporters that the building didn’t have water sprinklers and fire extinguishers couldn’t be used as the fire started from the roof.

The actual cause of the fire is yet to be made public since a police investigation report is yet to be released. Responding to journalists over the matter, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe recently said the report had been sent to cabinet for consideration before it is released to the public.

Cabinet sitting at State House Entebbe on 25 January 2021, also recommended that electrical installations in old buildings of Makerere University should be revamped and an annual maintenance budget of the Estates and Works Department increased to ensure preventive maintenance of University buildings.

Other recommendations made by cabinet include recruitment of two permanent electrical engineers to oversee maintenance works at the University, and to always ensure that Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the buildings are fully functional for full-time surveillance of the institution.

Cabinet also resolved that Makerere and other government institutions must install fire hydrants for use by Fire Brigade during times of emergency on top of enhancing capacity for the National Building Review Board to monitor buildings across the country for timely detection of deterioration.

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