Daniel Nyanjagha – Mana.
Duringthe early hours of Wednesday, fire destroyed about 19 shops and over 29 benchesat Limbuli old market in Mulanje District.
Accordingto an eye witness, Chenjezo Thom, the fire started after a spark erupted at anelectric pole that lit shops next to it and spread to the other shops.
“Duringthe night, at around 1 am, I came out to buy food and that’s when I saw a sparkat the electric pole and in no time the shops next to it were in flames. Wehurried to wake-up the owners of the shops who stay nearby so that we could putout the fire,” he said.
Theymanaged to put out the fire at around 4am in the morning.
Themarket chairman, Anthony Limitedi, whose shop was also among those destroyed bythe fire said millions of kwacha had been destroyed.
“Wehave lost a lot of property worth millions. We are now hopeless as the shopswere our only source of income. We hope that government will come in and assistus,” he lamented.
MulanjeDistrict Disaster Management Affairs Desk Officer, Keth Sayenda told thevictims, when a team from the council went to assess the damage, that as councilthey would compile and forward a report to DoDMA and then map the way forwardon how to assist them.
He,however, advised the business owners to find better ways of alerting peoplewhen incidents like fire breakouts occur.
“Thetime fire breaks out is the time to start putting it out. In this scenario Iwould urge business owners to find better means of alerting other people whilethose who have seen the breakout are putting it out,” he said.
Thisfire breakout follows other fire incidences at Mulanje View Motel andProvidence Girls Secondary school last year.