Serekunda market fire disaster: strategic planning vital
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It has now become a common phenomenon that hardly a year passes by without Gambians having to wake up to some heartbreaking news of a fire outbreak in Serekunda Market.
The sad scenario has been on going for the past three years and most often the disaster erupt at the most crucial times of the year, rendering massive destruction to valuables of people who are generally poor and might have to toil for a longer period before they can regain their lost little fortune.
Each time the disaster occured, the immediate question on people's lips is what is the cause of the fire? There are those that continue to uphold the traditional philosophy that everything is pre-ordained by God, while others blame it on certain activities of other people at the market. And the official answer is often that 'the cause of the fair is not yet ascertained but investigations are on going'.
The simple reality is that it is now three consecutive years that this market is coming into the limelight for the wrong reason. This makes it imperative that all effort be done to stem this unfortunate and unacceptable trend.
The Kanifing Municipal Council is the custodian of the Serekunda Market which is the second largest in the country, consisting of people majority of who are poor and earns their living from the market through petty trading schemes. Such occurrences have serious consequences not only on their lives but also on the rest of the community as many more depend on them for their daily food supply.
We are therefore calling on the KMC to realise that that they owe an obligation to the community, an obligation they must fulfill. The market vendors pay tax for the development of the market as well as for their protection.
KMC should therefore take an extra step in protecting the market from such catastrophes. This will also mean more trust for the Council from the people they are out to serve.