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Statement by UNICEF on the fire incident at the Bilal Boarding School

Gordon Jonathan Lewis UNICEF The Gambia Representative


Banjul, 18 October 2021


UNICEF is deeply saddened by the death of five children from the fire incident at the Bilal Boarding School in Yarambamba, West Coast Region, on October 17th, 2021. The incident also left seven other children injured and hospitalized, some in critical condition.

We send our deepest condolences to the families, friends and peers of all victims of the incident. Children who witnessed the incident may also be traumatized by what they saw and the loss of friends, and may need urgent psycho-social support as they recover from the shock.

We urge national and local authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the incident to establish the exact cause of the fire and the circumstances around the incident. This investigation will be important in ensuring accountability and the implementation of stronger mechanisms to safeguard the security and safety of children in schools, especially those in boarding schools.

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