Onandjokwe hospital nearly burns down

Staff held the fort until firefighters arrived

30 June 2020 | Disasters



The Onandjokwe State Hospital is investigating the cause of a fire that threatened the hospital last Friday afternoon.

Although the fire did not cause any major damage, it was a dangerous situation that could have led to the loss of one of the largest hospitals in the north.

The hospital's medical superintendent, Dr Akutu Munyika, said the preliminary investigation indicated that the fire started inside the hospital premises.

Refuse burning

He thanked hospital staff and Ondangwa firefighters who managed to control the blaze.

“The fire burnt the hospital premises on the residential side and it went up to the hospital garage. The investigation is not yet completed, but we suspect that some hospital residents were burning refuse and then the grass caught fire,” Munyika said.

He said the fire nearly reached the fuel storage tank at the hospital garage but hospital staff managed to keep it at bay until the firefighters arrived. Munyika said there was no major damage to the buildings and nobody was hurt, but it destroyed some broken hospital beds that were to be taken to the government garage for auction.

Grass a hazard

In order to prevent another occurrence, Munyika said the hospital management would meet this week to discuss what to do about the tall grass on hospital grounds.

“The area at the back of the hospital is risky and it is full of grass. The hospital management will sit and come up with a strategy on how to make the hospital environment clean and safe,” Munyika said.