K100m goods destroyed in Area 18 market fire
Preliminary estimates by people plying their trade in Area 18 Market have indicated that property worth close to K100 million was destroyed in the inferno.
The market was gutted on Thursday evening.
Chairperson of the market’s committee, Bernard Gama has appealed to government and other well-wishers to assist them to resuscitate their businesses.
“Over 500 people have been affected by this tragedy. At the moment we are deeply affected. We need assistance,” Gama said.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa, who visited the market on Friday said he will report the incident to President Peter Mutharika.
“His Excellency the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika instructed me to come and assess the situation. For example, to assess the extent of the damage and again how many people are involved. I will go back to inform him what has happened on the ground. And we are going to pick it up from there,” Nankhumwa said.
Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera, said the matter should be taken seriously.
“This is shocking. We need to take this matter seriously, with various brokers, in finding solutions and see if, may be, we can find something that gives hope to all these people doing business in the city,” Chakwera said.
According to eye witnesses, the fire, which started around 7:30pm, is suspected to have been caused by electrical fault in one of the shops in the market.
Although Lilongwe City Council Fire Brigade managed to control further spread, all the shops inside the market were destroyed.
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