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Chilonga School of Nursing in the Catholic Diocese of Mpika has been gutted by fire destroying the entire infrastructure and students’ property. Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) National Health Coordinator Sister Matildah Mubanga,DOR has confirmed the development. Sr. Mubanga, DOR said the fire started from the kitchen and later spread to the other structures of the Nursing School around 04:30 hours on 1st October, 2016. “Investigations have indicated that one cooker was left on after power outage and that could have been the cause of fire after power was restored. The area experienced power outage from 15 00 hours and was restored at about 2100 hour,” she said. “ We are still trying to estimate the estimated cost of the lost property which includes laboratory equipment, school Library, Books, furniture, Kitchen equipment, three rooms, laundry, twenty-two student rooms, administration block and students’ personal belongings,” she added. Out of the 146 students at the school, 67 had their property destroyed but no one was injured nor any life lost. And Sister Mubanga, DOR has described the development which has befallen the church as a sad situation and she has appealed for assistance in the reconstruction of the school. She has also called on other Church run institutions to take precaution during power load shedding. “This is a sad situation that has befallen us, on such a major project. We are greatly affected and we do not have readily resources to reconstruct the school,” she noted. Meanwhile Sister Mubanga has disclosed that plans are under way to distribute first and second year students to other nursing schools, nhowever final year Registered and Enrolled Nursing students will continue until they sit for examinations. Chilonga Nursing School which opened in 1963 in the Diocese of Mpika is administered by the Sisters of Child Jesus. In 2011 St. Pauls Nursing School in Mansa Diocese was gutted by fire which started in the Kitchen. The Catholic Church in Zambia operates nursing schools in Mpika, Mansa, Lusaka and Monze dioceses with another one under construction in Chipata diocese.

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