SUBSTANDARD STRUCTURES IRKS DoDMA

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Collapsed classroom that killed four children.

THE DEPARTMENT of Disaster Management Affairs, DoDMA, has called on all stakeholders in the country to improve on public structures’ standards by constructing strong buildings that can withstand natural disasters.

The call comes barely a week after four pupils died and 17 others sustained serious injuries after a classroom block wall collapsed at Natchengwa Primary School in Zomba district as a result of winds.

DoDMA Director of Response and Recovery, Paul Kalilombe, says the department appreciates the passion communities and various stakeholders have in addressing inadequacy of learning structures.

He, however, warned that the passion should not compromise the construction of public structures such as classroom blocks.

“It is our mandate as a department to ensure that public structures are built in line with stipulated building guidelines, this helps in reducing risks.

“We do not want to see a repeat of the Nantchengwa incident,” Kalilombe explained.

A preliminary report indicates that the collapsed classroom block, which was partly built through community contributions, was not fit for usage.

The department, which is under the Office of the Vice President, has since provided K150 thousand to the bereaved families as part of government’s support towards funeral expenses.

K50 thousand has been given to each of the families of the 17 seriously injured pupils as support towards medical expenses.

Construction of sub-standard public structures such as classroom blocks is on the increase despite DoDMA developing guidelines for building communal structures.

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