Mahdia COI report to be handed over to President Ali soon


The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Mahdia dormitory fire has been completed and the report consisting recommendations from the Commission will be handed over to President Dr Irfaan Ali soon.

This disclosure was made by Secretary of the Commission, Javed Shadick who told the News Room on Wednesday that a date has not been identified as to when the handing over will be done.

However, he noted that once this is done, the report will be reviewed by the President, who has the power to implement the recommendations made by the Commission to prevent a reoccurrence of any such incident.

Public hearings into the inquiry commenced on September 15 and wrapped up in November month end.

During this period, a total of 29 witnesses, including officials from the Guyana Fire Service, first responders, the deputy headmistress of the Mahdia secondary school, the Chief Education Officer and officials from the region have given evidence before the Commission.

The 20 victims of the Mahdia Secondary School dorm fire

The dorm mother, as well as, the dorm father also testified.

The Commission heard that there were a number of deficiencies at the Mahdia fire station and a lack of firefighting equipment that delayed the response of firefighters.

And though an inspection was conducted at the school dormitory just months before the fire and officials were informed of the defects, little to no action was taken.

The fire on May 21, 2023, in the Region Eight community claimed the lives of 20 children.

According to the Terms of Reference, the CoI was required to inquire into and report on everything leading up to the dormitory fire as well as the cause of the fire.

They were also tasked to investigate and report on what actions were taken to provide care, medical attention, and support to the injured and deceased and their relatives, in a timely manner.

Recommendations are also expected from the commission, which will include necessary measures to prevent a reoccurrence of such tragedies.

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