Yesterday night, the fire broke out in a market located in Buterere Zone in north of Bujumbura. Merchants whose goods have been burned cry for help. The fire was caused by welders who did not turn off their electrical devices before leaving, police say.
Over 200 people including men, women and women have come to Buterere marketplace to pick up the remains of burned good. Merchants lament that they did not save anything. The market was known for the selling of building materials.
"Yesterday around 23:30, one of the members of the joint security committee called me to tell me that the market caught fire. I came immediately, but, I could not do anything because the fire was huge, "says Marie Louise Ndacayisaba, one of the traders in the market.
In spite of the rapid intervention of the civil protection police officers, she says eight kiosks were completely destroyed. She calls on the government to build a modern market in Buterere Commune. "It is normal that this market burned. It was not built following the proper standard," says Ndacayisaba.
Deogratias Nkundwanimana, who used to working in this destroyed market, asks benefactors to help them. "We are going to starve since we have not been able to save our goods," he says.
This market did not meet the required standards to be ensured, according to Serges Ndayishimiye, an advisor to SOCABU insurance company. "No merchant has insured his goods," says Ndayishimiye.
This adviser to SOCABU says the risk was not insurable given the way that the market was managed. "They worked in poor conditions," Ndayishimiye says.
He calls on traders to work in well-organized markets in order to subscribe for fire insurance. He also recommends that merchants subscribe to credit protection insurance.
Pierre Nkurikiye, the police spokesman says the fire was due to the electrical devices that were still plugging in electric sources. He calls for vigilance.