Traders count losses after fire razes shops at Jebel market
Property worth 20,000 US dollars was lost after a fire razed shops and businesses in Juba’s Jebel market on Monday.
The fire, whose cause is yet to be established, started at around 4:00 am in a section of the market. However, no one was injured during the incident.
Hussein Madin Ali, a trader whose shop was consumed by the fire, told Radio Tamazuj that they have incurred huge losses, pointing out that the information about the fire outbreak reached them late.
“We don’t know where this problem came from, there were some security personnel when these shops were catching fire. I had the biggest shop, so we have lost almost 20,000 US dollars,” he said.
Isma Raba, another trader who lost goods, called on the government to compensate them after they lost goods and other belongings. “Right now, the government knows that our shops caught fire, so the government should see our situation here. This fire outbreak started from behind there, and we also have nothing to do since this country is still new,” he said.
“I would like to thank our Ethiopian brothers because they did a good thing. They brought almost 30 tanks of water to control the fire. The Fire Brigade Service has done little to help, they would have been the first people to come to the scene but they took their time to reach here,” Raba said. “This is normal, it happens everywhere, I thank God that there was no one who died.”
However, the Head of Fire Brigade at Jebel Market, Michael Kuarjok said they were informed late that’s why they were unable to help.
“We arrived at the scene at 6:10 am and started our work with one car, so when it reached 8:00 am and the fire was still consuming the shops, we brought the second car,” said Michael Kuarjok. “My message to every South Sudanese is that whenever there is a fire outbreak, we have our telephone number which is working 24 hours, if there is a fire outbreak, call us immediately.”
Stephen Wani, the acting chief executive officer for Juba City Council, said no arrests have been made in connection with the fire, pointing out that the fire consumed 10 shops with mix goods.
“The structure of the shops is not permanent which means they did not ensure it. The issue of compensation is not going to be easy unless traders themselves contribute something to help their fellow traders who incurred losses,” he said.