Chairman of the Makerere University Council, Dr. Wana Etyem has advised the heads of different schools at the University to use the available technology to make electronic/soft copies of all the University Documents to avoid loss in case of a fire or any other catastrophe.
This comes at a time when fire breakouts are becoming common with the latest being the destruction of Mary Stuart Hall and an administrative office at Uganda’s oldest and biggest University.
Etyem said the breakout of these fires should act as an awakening call for all departments to think about permanent or a safer way of keeping documents.
Etyem was speaking at the handover of the renovated Sir Albert Cook library by Stanbic Bank to the Makerere University College of Healthy Sciences located within Mulago Hospital.
“This Library contains very important information, hand written Notes by Sir Albert Cook himself. That kind of information should be safeguarded; god forbid, if the Library catches fire like what happened recently at Mary Stuart. All departments should use the available technology to store important information” Etyem said.
The Sir Albert Cook library was established in 1924 by Sir Cook, the father of modern medicine in Uganda. Since then, the library was last renovated in 1965, and its condition had started deteriorating until recently when Stanbic Bank at the request of the School Officials offered to extend and renovate the University.
Stanbic Bank contributed Shs197m towards the project. The money went to major structure repairs, painting works and an extensive cleaning up operation
Speaking at the handover ceremony on Friday, Prof Chalse Ibingira, the Principal at the College of Health Science said that the library was becoming too small to accommodate the needs 2200 students that the school has and thanked Stanbic for Supporting in the renovation and extension of the Library.
He further asked Makerere University to offer the School more support so that it can upgrade its computer library and buy extra books and machines to Use.
“The books we have in the library are not enough. Now more than 100 students have to share a book and yet students continue paying for library. We want to upgrade it. Also our internet is always on and off. We ask the administration to allow faculties to maintain funds” Ibingira said.
The Stanbic Bank Chief Executive, Patrick Mweheire said that the Bank was thrilled to support such a great cause and promised to continue working with Makerere University on other major projects.
“We are proud to be playing a small role in preserving a very important part of our heritage. Sir Albert cook played a major role in training our first medical students that helped in developing the capacity that saw Uganda open its first medical school in E. Africa in 1927. We hope our contribution will increase literacy and advancement of knowledge to more Ugandans” Mweheire said