Student residents at Makerere International Students Hostel (MISH) are bitter following a decision by the management to abolish cooking inside the rooms following a recent fire outbreak.
Hostel administrators claim that the fire outbreak on October 11, which destroyed one of the rooms, was sparked off by a gas cooker. Two students --Aijuka Moureen and Apedat Brenda--were both rushed to the hospital and treated for shock after the fire outbreak on the 3rd floor in room M3-10 in which they resided.
The decision by the MISH administrators to stop students from cooking meals in their rooms has caused uproar among students who complain that it is inconsiderate and unfair.
Sharon Munaba, a student and resident at MISH says the "decision is unfair and was made hastily without consulting students” yet it directly affects them.
Munaba told Journalism@Mak that MISH administrators cane to conclusions without establishing the real cause of the fire which she links to a short-circuit. "Now students are being forced to buy expensive meals from nearby restaurants which we cannot afford because we are not allowed to cook from hostel," she complains.
The residents were asked to utilize the MISH restaurant for their meals. However, this is no option for many since it will be expensive for them to afford restaurant good. The residents were given a period of one week to compose themselves and find other options rather than using gas cookers. Other electric appliances like rice cookers and hot plates are also not allowed.
The hostel administration has not yet revealed the sanctions for any resident who continues to cook after the period given.
Roman Kyabaggu, the director of the hostel, in his address said that the exact cause of the fire had not yet been established but they suspected the gas cooker which was found in the middle of the room after the fire.
"We suspect the gas cooker we found in the room. The safety of the hostel is not one-sided both the administration and the residents have a role to play and this is why we must stop cooking in rooms," he said.