PROPERTY worth millions of Kwacha has been gutted at Kitwe’s Nakadoli market after fire swept through part of the market which houses charcoal and other assorted goods.
The fire started around midnight on Tuesday and the cause was not known but traders suspect it was started by unscrupulous people.
Ms Joyce Kabonje narrated that when the traders realized that the fire was spreading, they alerted the police in the market who then quickly called firefighters.
And Kitwe City Council chief fire officer Robson Mbawe who was at the scene attending to the fire said the fire attenders only managed to quench out the fire at around 06.00 hours because they had challenges in finding water.
Mr Mbawe noted that despite receiving reinforcement from the Copperbelt Energy Corporation fire brigade, the water was still not enough because at that time all water points had dried up.
The affected traders have since appealed to Government to look into their plight as that was their only source of livelihood.
Ms Joyce Siluya, 45, told the Daily Nation that she acquired a loan of K4,000 from one of the financial institutions which she used to start her business which should be repaid.
Another woman, a widow, said she did not know where to start from as she had lost everything in the fire.
And visiting the site, Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe said he would tender the grievances of the affected to higher authorities to see how best they could be helped.
Mr Kang’ombe asked for a list of the affected traders which could be used as a starting point to seek financial assistance from Government.
“Our role is to listen to the plight of our people”, said Mayor Kang’ombe.
Mr Kang’ombe also emphasized the need to have permanent structures in the markets.
Meanwhile, area ward councillor, William Nyirenda, said he would work on constructing permanent structures unlike the makeshift stalls currently in use.