19 April 2018

Malawi VP Chilima Visits Gutted Mangochi Hospital, Proposes Public Buildings Examination to Avert Fire

State Vice President, Dr. Saulos Chilima has called for examination of all public buildings that accommodates people in large numbers to ensure that their electrical systems do not expose the infrastructure to fire accidents.

He said this on Thursday in Mangochi, where he visited and donated assorted items to Mangochi District Hospital which was gutted by fire on April 15, 2018.

The Vice President stressed on the need for all public buildings to have all the necessary equipments like fire extinguishers for primary action in times of fire accidents.

"Let's find means to have infrastructures such as schools, hospitals, prisons and all public buildings audited and let us make sure that the wiring of such buildings are done by professionals," Chilima, who is also Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, pointed out.

He tipped the Mangochi District Council and all other councils to draft budgets listing all they would require to contain fire accidents so that such budgets could be discussed in the next sitting of parliament in June.

Chilima appealed to Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), companies and individuals in Mangochi to come in with whatever donations they could manage to get the hospital functioning again.

He hailed the community for their unity and solidarity in putting out the fire and for saving the lives of people during the accident.

"The spirit of selflessness that the community showed is what the President, Prof. Peter Mutharika, preaches and I would like to applaud you all for upholding the spirit," Chilima added.

District Commissioner for Mangochi, Rev. Moses Chimphepo, described the fire accident as a wakeup call to the council and that the District Executive Committee had agreed to have fire hydrants in all the council's public buildings.

"The emergency meeting we had at the council recommended regular fire drills, assessment and rework on the whole electrical systems of buildings and installation of smoke detectors, and, most importantly, procurement of fire engine to be stationed at the town council," he explained.

Mangochi District Health Officer (DHO), Dr. Henry Chibowa commended government for the timely response to the accident and called upon more partners to support the construction of the outpatient building and procurement of the destroyed equipment.

According to the (DHO), construction of damaged block would require about K150 million while a lot more millions would be required for the replacement of the hospital equipment.

The Vice President through DODMA donated mattresses, blankets, buckets and bags of rice to the district hospital.

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