Bwera student dies after smoke inhalation in staff quarters

Deceased: Desmond Masereka. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Across Uganda, most rural homesteads still use smoke producing stoves in domestic houses.

A 17-year-old senior two student at Bwera Secondary School lost his life on Sunday night after alleged suffocation, authorities at the learning institution in Kasese District have said.

Deceased Desmond Masereka had been staying with his father Grayford Katya, the director of studies at the school.

Bwera Secondary School head teacher Yokonia Bwambale explained that the inhalation occurred when Katya left for the weekend while Masereka stayed inside the house preparing his meals using a charcoal stove.

According to Bwambale, “the stove emitted a significant amount of smoke, leading to a fatal outcome.”

“The school community was shocked to learn that the student succumbed to the smoke in the late hours of the night when they saw a lot of smoke coming out of the house,” authorities noted in a statement.

The statement further highlighted that Masereka slept off and left the stove unattended.

“The smoke from the stove eventually led to his untimely death at around midnight,” the school indicated.

Acting Rwenzori East Regional Police spokesperson SP Luka Mbusa told journalists that investigations are underway even as the deceased’s body was at Bwera Hospital for post-mortem on Monday, with suspected suffocation as the cause of death.

“… but a case of arson has been registered at Bwera Divisional Police Headquarters. We received information from the school on an incident that had taken place in the staff quarters where smoke was seen coming out of one of the houses," stated SP Mbusa.

Police added that “neighbors rushed to the scene, but Masereka was found lifeless on his father's bed.”

Across Uganda, most rural homesteads still use smoke producing stoves in domestic houses.