Mahdia tragedy was a ‘’disaster waiting to happen” – CoI counsel – Guyana Times
In his closing submission on Thursday, this was the stance taken by Counsel to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Mahdia dormitory fire, Keoma Griffith.
“It is my view that the problems in the after report of sub-officer Ryan Scott after the fire were the very same issues identified by Ryan Scott in their reports…It’s as if it was a disaster waiting to happen because Ryan Scott had been telling them all along these are the issues affecting the Mahdia fire station, recommendations that need to be put in place in the interest of saving lives and preserving property. Yet, there was no response.”
“This report should have been taken seriously, that required urgent attention and that no effort and the spirit in the implementation of all of the relevant requirements and recommendations contained therein.”
The CoI panel will also be considering the 2017 Commission of Inquiry into the state of the education sector, which had placed high emphasis on the ‘deplorable state’ of dormitories in Guyana. It had made recommendations for the government of the day, the APNU/AFC coalition, to address these circumstances immediately.
Another report, initiated by the Priya Manickchand-led Education Ministry and executed by UNICEF titled: “The Gender Sensitive Standards for Dormitory Schools” also analyzed these facilities in 2022.
While the fire would have resulted in the death of 20 children, it was emphasized that this incident has altered the lives of 112 students and the two down parents.
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