Traders count losses as fire burns kiosks in Kakamega

Tuesday September 12 2017

Residents mill around the scene of a morning fire near the main Kakamega bus terminus on September 12, 2017 which destroyed several kiosks. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Residents mill around the scene of a morning fire near the main Kakamega bus terminus on September 12, 2017 which destroyed several kiosks. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BENSON AMADALA
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Traders operating next to the main Kakamega bus terminus are counting loses after a fire burnt several kiosks destroying property of undetermined value.

The Tuesday morning inferno started from one of the kiosks and is suspected to have been caused by an electric fault.

The blaze spread to other structures as the traders watched helplessly.

The affected traders complained that fire fighters from the county government delayed in responding to the emergency.

The traders were desperately rummaging in the debris, hoping to salvage valuables while assessing the cost of the damage on their businesses.

Kakamega Division Police Chief Bernstein Shari said fire engines from the county arrived two hours after several kiosks, including an eatery and a workshop, had been engulfed in flames.

NO WATER

“Firefighting engines from the county government arrived at the scene without water making it difficult to contain the inferno before it could spread further,” said Mr Shari.

Fire fighters from Mumias Sugar and West Kenya Sugar companies helped contain the flames.

Kakamega County has two modern firefighting engines but the fire fighters have complained about vandalism of fire hydrants making it difficult for them to respond to emergencies during fire outbreaks.

The acting Chief Fire Officer Moses Anambo said his team is forced to fetch water from a river seven kilometres away during fire outbreaks.

“This is making our work very difficult. The fire hydrants in the town have been vandalised and there is little we can do about it,” said Mr Anambo.

The traders asked Governor Wycliffe Oparanya to urgently provide the fire fighters with modern equipment to enable them respond to fire outbreaks without delay.