By Abdul Kimera
On Monday morning, Mirandi region in Southern Niger experienced a heartbreaking situation as unexpected fires broke out in a classroom killing at least 26 young children and injuring at least 13.
According to the city mayor Chaibou Aboubacar, the cause of the fire that broke out amidst morning lessons, killing toddlers below 6 years, is unknown yet.
Due to the overwhelming numbers of school-going children and poverty in Niger, classrooms are often built using wood and straw. The classrooms are vulnerable to such incidences.
Mahamadou Ouhoumoudou the country’s prime minister promised thorough investigations and that the government in which he operates will ensure the perpetrators face justice if the actions were criminal.
The Niger’s teachers union secretary-general has continuously called upon school teachers to at least hold classes under trees than in straw huts which have become death beds for young children.
A similar incident happened in the district of Niamey early this year in April. It claimed 20 lives of school children which prompted president Mohammed Bazoum to make a promise recently of replacing the wooden structures.
Besides these fires, the country had recently faced another tragedy that also claimed 18 lives when miners collapsed in a Gold mine in Dan-issa district in the country’s northern region.