By Felix Andrew
PROPERTIES worth over shillings 14billion were burnt into ashes in the fire which gutted Sido market in Mbeya region almost two weeks ago.
Probe Committee formed to assess the loss, has discovered that the source of fire was charcoal cooking stove which was left unattended in one of temporary kiosks used by a woman food vendor.
Reading the committee’s report, the Mbeya District Administrative Secretary Hassan Mkwawa said they visited the area and interviewed victims.
“We have found that over 2,000 trader’s properties worth more than shillings 14 billion were burnt into ashes,” he said.
The committee recommended the management of SIDO and Mbeya City Council to construct permanent shops for all traders.
For his part, Mbeya Regional Commissioner, Amos Makala directed officials of Mbeya city council to visit the area and draw new architecture design, to allow construction of permanent structures within the area.
“We want all markets within the region should have infrastructure which would allow easy access in case of fire accidents,” he said.
On 15th this month around 10pm fire erupted at the second biggest market in the region and caused havoc to the public.
Eye witness said many properties were burnt while others stolen by thief. Concerns about whether the goods gutted were insured remains a critical concern.
The swift response of the Fire Service could not prevent the destruction of retail shops, vendor’s kiosks who sale second hand clothes.
This is the third-time fire guts the same market, the first incidence occurred in 2012 where various properties were burnt into ashes.