By: Ijoo Bosco/Bida Elly David
Eastern Equatoria State Government General Secretariat building, housing the State Governor’s office caught fire on Wednesday morning under unclear circumstance leaving historical archives and files dating back to 1994 up to 2019 burnt according to the Governor’s Office.
Aliandro Lotok is the press Secretary in the office of Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong Lojore he confirmed incident to the media, however he said the major cause and source of the fire outbreak was yet to be established.
The main secretariat general’s office is an apartment hosting several State government offices including ministers, advisers among other whose offices were destroyed by the raging fire on Wednesday.
Mr. Aliandro Lotok, told the media that, the incident started at 7:00 am when office cleaners were already undergoing their usual activities at the main office.
He claimed that, the fire is said to have begun from the power room next to the file storage block inside the secretariat general office, destroying most of the credible government documents plus some assets.
Lotok appreciated the UNMISS Civil Defense in Torit alongside the surrounding communities for their quick response in putting out the fire that was spreading all over engulfing the offices.
The press secretary noted that, some of the key offices within the secretariat’s block were rescued by the civil defense intervention since the UNMISS came in quickly with their water extinguisher track to contain the spreading fire.
lotok acknowledged that, among the destroyed government documents; included historical document dating back to 1994-upto 2019 and which will erase some of the State important archives kept to reflect the past.
Lotok informed the citizens that, the state governor Louis Lobong Lojore will not come to the office until a fresh renovation of all damaged structures are repaired within the secretariat general’s office in Torit.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press this morning at around seven zero five and when people were cleaning the offices the fire broke out at the government general secretariat in Torit destroying some offices files, it’s started at the power room inside but unfortunately this where all the file of eastern Equatoria State are kept particularly those from 1994-2019” said Lotok.
He said all the files in part of the offices that got burnt had been completely destroyed and only the rest of the offices were rescue by the civil defense workers.
The governor’s press secretary, hailed the state community alongside UNMISS field office in Torit for their quick response in rescuing the main powerhouse – state secerertarit general building in Torit.
“The Hon governor thanks the civil defend service UNMISS fire team the resident of Torit for coming in large number to help put off the fire” hinted Lotok.
The police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire outbreak that robbed the secretariat general building, as some individual civil servants/workers have been taken for questioning over the matter.
Mr. Aliandro Lotok lamented that, investigation is in place to get the real root causes of the fire outbreak at the State secretariat general’s headquarter hosting the governor, his deputy, some ministers and advisors.
“We would like to inform the public that the investigation is going on to establish the cause of the fire and we will keep people of eastern Equatoria inform at the moment the office of the honorable governor will not be operating at the secretariate general until the renovation is completely done” Lotok stated.
The state secretariat general’s office was using green energy as a source of its power since its inception, this is the first of its kind for an incident of this nature to happen in Eastern Equatoria state government office.
Meanwhile, Maj. John Tominial Daniel, the Eastern Equatoria State civil defense officer, called on the state government to support them with repairing their main truck or fire fighting vehicle that has been grounded along Torit – Magwi road to help fight fire in the town.
“At the moment we don’t have fighting trucks so what we have to do we want to use this fire extinguisher, to be fixed in every places especially on our offices and then some government institutions private sectors even in the market places in the clinics all these we want to be supplied so that it helps us in case of any outbreak of fire like this” he said.
“Indeed we are very venerable to response to any danger as you can witness, if the UNMISS were not to response it was going to be worse” added Maj. John.