President Ali receives Mahdia Fire COI report

-Vows to implement, integrate recommendations

The report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the devastating Mahdia Secondary female dormitory was received by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali from Major General (retired) Joseph Singh- the COI’s Chairman on Friday.

During his report presentation, Major General (Ret’d) Singh outlined several recommendations that may be useful in guaranteeing safety and advancing social improvements.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the COI Commissioners

The Presidential COI began hearings on September 15, 2023.

Upon receiving the document, the Head of State assured the commission that these recommendations would be integrated into areas that need improvements.

President Ali addressing the audience

“We are going to continue to do all we can and I want to assure the commission that your recommendations and your output here is critically integrated. But wherever there is still room for the further integration of your recommendations, you can rest assured that the Minister of Education, the cabinet and the government will be incorporating those recommendations,” the head of state unscored.

Importantly, President Ali highlighted that this integral piece of document will be useful to the nation and its people going forward.

President Ali receives the COI report from Chairman Major General (Ret’d) Joseph Singh

It was also pointed out by President Ali that key proactive measures identified in the COI’s report align with the policymaking and expenditure of the Ministry of Education for 2024.

The ministry is expected to launch a tender process for systematic improvements for every educational facility as well as the Ministry of Health in improving sanitation and fire responsiveness.

“All of this, of course, will help us to build stronger systems… I am very pleased, there is strong recognition for the work that is ongoing and the intervention by the government,” he further elaborated.

On the issue of a proper memorial, President Ali disclosed the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand will engage with the Private Sector Commission to pool resources for a proper memorial for the lives that were tragically lost.

“We have commissioned various artists to come up with a representation of what this memorial should be… Because the memorial of this nature, is one that is very important,” he said.

The head of state also recognized his cabinet members for their support and dedication to ensuring that those families were supported during that difficult period.

The COI’s chairman applauded the government’s quick response to the situation and stated that he is optimistic that the report will be an instrument for change that is necessary.

Also present at the handing-over ceremony were other COI commissioners including the Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Derick John and Attorney-at-law Kim Kyte-Thomas.

In May 2023, tragedy struck the nation as news of a major tragedy which claimed the lives of 19 female students and one boy swept the country.

Immediate response was dispatched by the government in collaboration with joint services and the private sector to provide relief and support to those affected by the incident.