Message from the Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips on the Government’s support for the fire victims and their families

The Government of Guyana is fully committed to ensuring all of the needs are met for the victims and relatives affected by the fire that destroyed the girls dormitory at the Mahdia Secondary School and claimed the lives of 19 children.

We are truly saddened by the tragic loss of life encountered by the fire.

Our Government’s deepest sympathies go out to the families who lost loved ones in the inferno. May the relatives find the peace that they seek to help them traverse this difficult moment.

Guyanese are assured that the Government continues to hold dialogue with survivors and the bereaved families to provide dedicated support wherever needed.

We are sparing no effort to provide the required assistance to help our country navigate these difficult and testing times for all of us as Guyanese. 

A multi-prong plan that involves several Government ministries, agencies and departments has been activated to adequately cover the initial wave of assistance.

Through the leadership of His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, our response to the tragic fire has been swift and comprehensive.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire of Sunday, May 21, I led a Government team to Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) to meet with relatives and community leaders to conduct a needs-assessment which allowed us to operationalise the initial response.

The team included Minister of Education, Honourable Priya Manickchand; Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Robeson Benn; several high-level security personnel, first responders and technical experts.

Our team was subsequently joined by a second team led by the President.

The Government will continue to spearhead assistance and is committed to expending all resources necessary to prioritise the full recovery of the students currently hospitalised and to ensure that relatives receive the help they require to cope with the loss of lives.

The Government is providing assistance with counselling for relatives of the 19 persons who died, and the wider student population and faculty of the Mahdia Secondary School.

We have also started the process of evacuating residents from the hinterland so that they can be with their loved ones who are receiving treatment in Georgetown.

Additionally, food, clothing and other supplies are being provided to the community through the Civil Defence Commission, the lead agency tasked with spearheading the direct provision of critical supplies. 

We welcome the outpouring of support from Heads-of-Government as well as foreign missions. Based on offers made to the Government, we are exploring additional technical and medical assistance for those injured and the affected families.

Adjustments will be made to our support package so that the survivors and the bereaved have practical support with direct access to our Government agencies.

On behalf of the Government of Guyana, I once again express my profound sympathy at the tragic loss of lives at the Mahdia Secondary School.