Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa has said fireproof markets are the solution to the spate of fires that have affected a number of markets in the country.
Speaking in an interview on Monday after inspecting the unoccupied Limbe Flea Market and Limbe Main Market, Nankhumwa said the problem is that many of the country’s markets are made of makeshift materials such as card-boards and woods.
“The issue of market fires is a very big concern to government considering that once a market has been razed down by fire; there is huge property loss. The challenge we have is that most of the markets w e have in the country are makeshift markets; they are constructed from wooden materials, card-boards and other materials that easily catch fire.
“As a solution to that, government is coming in by constructing fireproof markets. Such markets are going to attract insurers because as it is now, no insurer would want to insure a market that is makeshift and is covered up with card-boards and wooden boxes,” said Nankhumwa.
Speaking on the unoccupied market, Nankhumwa said the issue hinges on the infrastructure which has no water, no electricity and no proper sanitation facilities and as such cannot be good for business operations. He said in the next two to three months, government will work on the concerns raised by the business people who are operating outside the market so that they can occupy the new market which, he said, is more conducive.
Chairperson for Limbe Flea Market Joseph Damiano expressed joy with the minister’s visit, saying it has given the business people a chance to show the minister their concerns on relocation in the new market. n