Night-time fire razes down Mogadishu’s main market

Somalia: Night-time fire razes down Mogadishu’s main market

MOGADISHU, Somalia – A night fire razed down Mogadishu’s Bakara market located within the Banadir region, with property worth millions of dollars said to have been consumed as traders woke up to the tragic news, losing their livelihoods instantly and without prior warning according to them.

The busy market caught fire from the section where utensils are sold and subsequently spread to gold honey and tailors sections, disfiguring the compound while bringing down major buildings. This is the second major fire incident in the market in as many months.

Luckily, firefighters from the Banadir region and those from private companies intervened, although nothing much was salvaged at the time they managed to put off the fire, which was spreading fast and furious. Nobody was injured during the incident since a number of traders managed to run away.

The cause of the fire remains unclear, but market traders blamed an electrical fault in a restaurant. Electrical faults are common in crowded areas due to poor wiring and connectivity, a move which has led to the death of dozens of people within the Banadir region which hosts the capital Mogadishu.

Police officers from the Banadir region under the stewardship of the Commander of the General Division of the Banadir Regional Police, Major Mahdi, patrolled the Bakara market to prevent looting on Saturday night, which occurs at any time of such incidents in the markets. No looting incident has been reported.

Traders said their property was damaged and asked the government to chip in and assist them to restart their lives. Last year in March, a similar fire incident broke out in Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway region of Somaliland, leaving property worth $2 billion in shambles according to official government reports.

Many stakeholders and business people chipped in and assisted the victims to get compensation from around the world. Somalia has been battling with a host of challenges, ranging from internal conflicts to the Al-Shabaab menace, which have significantly slowed down the economy of the Horn of Africa nation.

According to the traders, the fire destroyed many businesses and caused significant property damage.


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