, KISUMU, Kenya, March 5 – Traders at Kibuye market in Kisumu are counting heavy losses after a fierce fire razed down their stalls on Friday night.
The fire started slightly before 8pm and it took fire fighters the whole night to contain the situation.
Smoke was still billowing from the stalls on Saturday morning as fire fighters worked to extinguish the fire.
The traders who Capital FM News spoke to said persistent power outages on Friday were to blame for the fire.
“The power kept going on and off and the owner of a food kiosk must have forgotten to make sure his equipment was turned off because we smelt chips cooking before the fire broke out. It didn’t take very long to spread as ours are semi-permanent structures,” Vincent Ongesa, a trader, said.
A lack of water hampered the fire fighters’ efforts to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to other stalls which led Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura, when he visited the scene, to decry a lack of disaster preparedness by the county government.
“We want to ask them to be more vigilant next time because they were unable to put out this fire. It took the intervention of the Kenya Airports Authority to help us deal with this fire.”
Kisumu County Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga agreed that there was need for the County Government to better co-ordinate its efforts in future so as to ensure a quick containment of emergency situations.
“I must say that I’m a bit disappointed with the leadership of Kisumu at this particular moment,” she said.
The stalls that got burnt include furniture stores, second hand clothing stores and food kiosks.