TANESCO blamed on school dormitories fire

The Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) is accused of being the cause of fire which razed down eight dormitories at the D’alzon Obrate Girls Secondary School two days ago.

The management of the school which runs under the D’alzon Obrate Sisters of the Assumption claims that the fire was caused by a malfunctioned TANESCO power transformer located adjacent to the institution.

The fire totally destroyed the girls’ hostel, its furniture plus the students’ belongings. School Headmistress, Sister Leah Kavugho told the Arumeru District Commissioner, Mr Nyerembe Munasa-Sabi who visited the ill-fated institution, that the fire occurred after a series of electric sparks were seen emanating from the transformer’s internal connections.

But the Acting Regional Manager for TANESCO in Arusha, Eng Selaph Mushi stated that the firm’s experts went to the school and inspected both the damage and possible causes of the fire and they discovered something else to the contrary.

According to Eng Mushi, the dormitories went up in flames after the electricity cable connections got overwhelmed with usage overload. The TANESCO official explained that the wiring on the school buildings measured 6 millimeters wide gauge.

Apparently the gauge of the cable dictates the amount of current that can safely pass through the electrical wire and as far as TANESCO is concerned, the school or its students, was using many appliances at the same time resulting into power overload in the circuitry.

The Acting TANESCO boss, however, admitted that the company’s transformer was ‘misbehaving’ shortly before the fire, but added that, they switched off the power following reports of the electric sparks on it.

But Headmistress Leah Kavugho, vehemently denied claims that her students were using many electric appliances in their rooms, saying they don’t even allow such things at the institution.

“The TANESCO generator has always been exploding here, we have always reported such cases and even advising them to replace it but our concerns kept being ignored by the management, said the school head. When the fire outbreak occurred, the students were taking supper in the dining hall and this is what saved them.

The school, based in Mlangarini Ward of Meru has Form One, Two, Three and Four streams with the Form IV ones being the most affected by the disaster because they were preparing for exams. The fire was put off by military officers from the Tanganyika Packers base.

By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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