East Africa: Fire Guts Burundi's Largest Market

Kampala — Fire last week gutted down the Marché Central de Bujumbura (Central Market of Bujumbura) resulting in casualties and destruction of property worth millions of francs.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in solidarity with the citizens of Burundi passed a Resolution commiserating with President Pierre Nkurunziza, the government, the business community, traders and the affected families upon the great loss.

The Resolution moved by EALA member Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo hailed the quick assistance and rescue efforts offered by the Burundi and the governments of Tanzania and Rwanda.

"As a result the assembly urged the EAC Council of Ministers to put in place disaster risk management mechanisms giving guidance on measures that are needed by partner states to minimize the catastrophic effects of such disasters," said the EALA publicist Bobi Odiko.

"The nation has suffered despair, pain and sense of loss that has been occasioned by the disaster", outlined the resolution that also supported efforts by the Burundi to alleviate suffering including efforts to work with financial institutions to prepare financial facilities to restart their livelihoods.

The market inaugurated in 1994 and which is renown in the East African region has continued to play a fundamental part in driving the economy of Bujumbura.

It not only merchandises foodstuffs, building materials and other hardware accessories, but it is acclaimed for stocking some of the finest Vitenge materials in the region.

"The unfortunate tragedy has thus rendered thousands of people who depend on the market for their daily upkeep, jobless and dealt the economy of the country a major blow," said the EAC Secretary General, Amb Dr. Richard Sezibera who also hailed the Partner States for quickly putting together support for the Republic of Burundi.

Earlier on, the Speaker of EALA sent a message of sympathy to President Pierre Nkurunziza, the Government and citizens of Burundi following the disastrous fire.

Burundi's Minister for EAC, Leontine Nzeyimana, 33 persons were admitted in various hospitals following the fire accident and their conditions were stable.

The Minister clarified that there were no loss of lives recorded. She remarked that the Government had further identified an alternative site where the business persons shall be relocated to.

The Chair of the Council of Ministers Shem Bageine remarked that it was necessary for some ways and means to be found to enable those affected to re-start their lives.

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