Students of the Saint Andrew’s Roman Catholic Junior High School (JHS) complex at Konta, a suburb of Wa, are having their lessons under trees, after their school building was razed to the ground in a fire outbreak.
According to the Headmaster of the school, Mr Martin Gandes Nantieha, the school, which was constructed in 1994 and accommodated 162 students, had a staff common room and a store with furniture, but all these in addition to teaching and learning materials were destroyed in the blaze.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Suleman Alhassan, accompanied by the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Issahaque Tahiru Moomin, and other officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES) paid a visit to the school to assess the extent of damage to the facility.
Briefing them, Mr Nantieha said the school’s security man Mr George Bagle, who was on night duty, detected smoke in one of the classrooms around 11:30p.m. last Saturday night and raised an alarm for assistance from the neighbourhood to control the fire.
He said before help could come, the fire became uncontrollable and they called the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) for support.
Extent of destruction
The fire, he indicated, destroyed the building and burnt all the furniture and teaching materials, by the time personnel of the GNFS could get to the premises. He said no one was injured.
According to the Upper West Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GNFS, Mr Martin Bakobie, they received a distress call at 11:44p.m. and responded immediately by despatching a team of firefighters and a fire engine to the scene.
He said due to the inaccessible nature of the route to the school, their trip to the school was delayed and that worsened the destruction. He said the fire might have been caused by an electrical fault.
He stated that between January and September this year, the GNFS had recorded 103 fire outbreaks compared to 119 cases recorded the same period last year.
Warning to the public
The GNFS PRO took the opportunity to caution the public to be wary of fire outbreaks since the harmattan was around the corner.
He also asked the public to be cautious about the use of electricity and make sure they switched off all electrical appliances not in use and remove them from the mains.
He said the numbers to call when in danger were either 192, 0392022389 or 0299340725.