Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Emmanuel Fabiano has described the destruction of Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Library by fire as a shock to the college, requiring both short and long-term measures to restore the resource centre.
The minister was speaking Saturday when he visited the burnt library to assess the situation after it was gutted by fire Friday (around 3:00 a.m.) – the closing day of the university’s first semester.
Fabiano said the fire has caused a big loss both to Mzuzu University and its surrounding community.
He said rebuilding the library structure and replacing the resources which were inside the library building were the two important aspects to which stakeholders needed to find long and short- term measures.
“Facts are clear that books have been damaged and that information has been destroyed. Some of this information can be replaced while the other cannot,” said the minister, assuring that government would see to it that the library is restored.
However, he advised the university management to make plans on how the library could be restored and students’ resources be replaced, as a short term measure, to assist students in their studies.
Fabiano held a meeting with the university’s authorities, including the Vice Chancellor Dr Robert Ridley, before touring the burnt library.
Ridley earlier informed the minister the fire started independently from within the library but quickly spread to other parts of the building.
On the cause, he was not in a position to categorically tell what caused the fire, but said the college would engage experts to find out the cause.
He conceded it was a big challenge to rebuild the library, saying it would take some years to be done.
However, following the incident, there were already positive messages from well wishers within as well as outside the country to assist the college on the problem, according to Dr Ridley.
The fire, whose source is not yet known, destroyed about 45, 000 books and computers. Included in the destroyed books are those the college received as a donation from World Bank last month (November) valued at K100 million.
However, only the children’s library and American Corner Wing was spared by the wrath of the fire.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :