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Traders counting losses after fire razes Taveta market

Friday April 17 2020

Shops on Gitanga road opposite Rusinga School go up in flames after they were set on fire by protestors from Kawangware 56, Daogorretti North Constituency in Nairobi on Friday. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

Shops going up in flames. PHOTO | FILE | NMG 

LUCY MKANYIKA
By LUCY MKANYIKA
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Traders in Taveta town, Taita Taveta County, are counting losses after a fire razed stalls early Friday morning.

Goods worth millions of shillings were destroyed in the incident that caused extensive damage to facility in the town.

The fire is reported to have started at around 3am in one of the stalls.

The situation was made worse by explosions of gas cylinders in some of the stalls and due to the absence of a fire engines residents were forced to use sand and plain water to contain the fire that was spreading to the whole market.

Agnes Wambua, a trader, said she lost goods worth millions of shillings and appealed to government to come to their rescue.

‘’The extent of damage caused by this fire is big because some of the stalls got burnt completely and this was my stock, I did not salvage anything. I don’t have anything to start with. I was servicing a loan,’’ said Ms Wambua.

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They blamed the county administration for not being fully prepared to handle disasters. They said the fire would have been contained in time if there was a better response to the situation.

"The huge fire would have been contained in time but we were using buckets to put out the fire," said another trader Joshua Makeli.

Mr Makeli said he lost his investment of ten years and did not know he will recover from the loss.

"Businesses were already down because of coronavirus and now this. I may not recover from this loss any time soon,” he said.

The stalls businesses affected included food kiosks, butcheries, electronic shops and clothing stores.

According to Taveta sub-county commander Lawrence Marwa there were no casualties reported in the incident.

Mr Marwa said the cause of the fire is still unknown but they have initiated investigations into the incident.

"We visited the scene immediately and with the help of members of the public we managed to contain the fire which was spreading so fast," he said.

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