Govt to provide coffins to Makoae fire victims

Govt to provide coffins to Makoae fire victims

MASERU – The Minister of Social Development ‘Matebatso Doti says the government considers the Ha Makoae incident in which children aged between one and 11 years who lost their lives thorough fire while in a play house (Mantloane) as a disaster.
In her statement made at the National Assembly on Tuesday, the Minister said the government has resolved to provide coffins during the burial this Saturday.
She said the ministry is also providing an assessment of the impact made by the incident and the cabinet will make further announcement in due course.
“The government will provide coffins during the burial and provide counselling to the entire village which is devastated by the incident and is still shocked,” she said.
Mrs Doti said some of the children were from one family as they were playing together and promised that her ministry would undertake a social programme countrywide as part of awareness campaigns to avoid incident of this nature from recurring.
At least five children of Ha-Makoae, Qacha’s Nek were reported to have lost their lives as a result of fire that erupted while they were playing a traditional house game’ mantloane’ last week Friday.
The eight children aged between one year eleven months and eight years were playing ‘mantloane’ made of stones and thatch roofed.
The incident is believed to have occurred at around five o’ clock on Friday afternoon, the eldest child aged eight alerted members of the community that their ‘mantloane’ has caught fire, and that some children were trapped inside.
Police reported on Monday that upon community arrival at the scene, the seven children were covered in flames.
It said the community managed to put out the fire and rushed the victims to the hospital whereby upon arrival, five of them were confirmed dead while two were in critical condition and were transferred to Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) in Maseru.
The preliminary police investigations stated that the children set fire with intend to cook, but since that roofing was low it caught fire.
Lena

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