NIAMEY, 14 April 2021 – At least 20 children have been killed in a fire at a school in the capital, Niamey, sparking outrage among parents of the victims.
The children were trapped in the flames which consumed 28 of the straw-hut classrooms and 30 permanent classrooms in the school in the Pays Bas district of Niamey.
Most of the victims were attending nursery classes at the time in the government-run junior and pre-school school.
The straw=hut classrooms were built as overflow areas and in the wake of the fire disaster, social media is awash with postings by citizens calling for more safe schools.
“The power of the fire was enormous,” the French News Agency (AFP) reported, explaining that firefighters who arrived at the scene almost immediately found themselves unable to extinguish the inferno.
The United Nations Development Program classifies Niger as the world’s poorest country on a ranking of 189 countries.