Wajir(Mogadishu24)-Soko Mjinga, the largest market in Wajir County, was burned to ashes on Saturday night after a devastating fire broke out, causing the loss of properties worth hundreds of millions.

The fire erupted around 10:30 last night in the commercial market, specifically in the Il-Magaalo shopping center, spreading across various shops selling different types of clothes and food, warehouses, and other commercial areas.

The fire continued for hours despite calls for intervention from the county government fire department going unanswered. However, it was extinguished after five hours following collaborative efforts by the Kenya Airport Authority and Kenya Defense Forces, who dispatched their fire extinguishers to the scene.

Residents have accused the county department of emergency and officials of neglecting their duty.

“There was a huge fire in Soko Mjinga, particularly along the area of Il-Magala shopping center and its nearby shops. It is unfortunate that, despite the huge fire, no responsible leaders have reached the scene,” said one of the businessmen in the market.

“The leaders and the county officials have ignored our calls, which has contributed to the spread of the fire. I have lost over 40 million shillings ($300,000), including cash and properties,” he added.

Ms. Fatuma Adan, a businesswoman whose shop was completely destroyed, raised an alarm about the absence of leaders during times of crisis.

“It is unfortunate that of all the elected leaders, none has come to the rescue or even tried to intervene whenever such incidents occur. But in the end, they will come asking for our votes during elections,” said Fatuma Adan.

Last year, a similar tragedy occurred in Soko Mjinga after a heavy fire completely destroyed the market.

On Friday night, a massive fire broke out at Hamar-Weyne’s largest market in Mogadishu, causing damages and the loss of properties worth millions.

Frequent nighttime fires have become a growing concern in markets located in Somali-dominant areas, with the causes remaining unknown.

This year alone, Jiiddada market in Mogadishu’s Howlwadaag district, Jigjiga’s Taiwan Market, Wajale’s clothes market, Fadhi-same electronic industry in Bossaso, Dervish Market in Beledweyne, and residential areas have been reduced to ashes due to devastating nighttime fires.

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