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Unilia inferno loss estimated at K37 million

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University of Livingstonia (Unilia) has estimated that property worth K37 million was lost in the inferno that gutted the institution’s Ekwendeni Campus almost a week ago.

An assessment report on the fire indicates that a computer laboratory was the worst casualty with damage estimated at K27.8 million.

Registrar for Ekwendeni Campus, Reverend Lapani Nkhonjera, says structure damage alone is estimated at K6.3 million.

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The institution’s assessment report, Nkhonjera says, concluded that the fire was caused by an electrical fault in the matron’s office through which Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) main supply cable is connected.

“We established a committee to conduct inquiry on the fire incident and through it, it was realised that an electrical fault started the fire and that the source was the switchboard that connects directly to Escom cable,” said Nkhonjera in an interview on Saturday.

The committee, he said, also established that property worth K486,000 was destroyed in the matron’s office.

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“The property included mattresses, plastic pails, books, brushes, clothes and office furniture. Computers were also destroyed including electrical cables, projector and the internet connectivity system.

“It was also established that the structure needs to be renovated because iron sheets, window frames and glasses were completely destroyed,” Nkhonjera said.

Two students and a member of staff, the report shows, were injured in their effort to save some property.

Meanwhile, Livingstonia Synod General Secretary, Reverend Levi Nyondo and Moderator Reverend John Gondwe, who visited the campus, have asked for support to renovate the computer laboratory among others.

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