Deadly Mahdia fire CoI recommends memorial be built in honour of victims

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

After a presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) had probed the tragic Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory Fire which claimed the lives of 20 children, it has been recommended that a memorial be established at the site.

This tragic incident that occurred at the Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory has been described by the Guyana Fire Service as a “catastrophic” fire that was maliciously set by a 15-year-old girl. That teen has since been charged with 20 counts of murder for the arson, and is on remand at a juvenile holding facility as the preliminary inquiry continues at the magistrate’s court.

Chair of the COI, Major General (retd) Joseph Singh, in handing over the report to President Dr Irfaan Ali, noted that a recommendation for the memorial has been made in the report.

“As we continue to mourn the loss of the deceased children, we respectfully recommend and urge a suitable memorial be erected on the site of the female dormitory, in which will be a reminder to us that there is nothing more important than caring for, nurturing, and mentoring, our children,” Singh said.

President Ali, in response, said a similar plan is already in motion. “Not only is it on the agenda, but it is already in the design stage, where we have commissioned various artists to come up with various representations of what this memorial should be. Because a memorial of this nature is one that is very emotive, and has to be one that addresses the emotive nature of such tragedy,” he said.

The President revealed: “These are issues that we are already addressing, but we wanted to integrate the community into what we do. For example, we wanted the different Indigenous groups (to be a part of this activity), so that their cultures are represented in this memorial also.”