Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Trasizio Gowelo has said the country’s markets should have structures constructed using safer materials if fire accidents are to be reduced.
Gowelo made the remarks in an Interview with Malwi News Agency (Mana) on Thursday after he toured Kamuzu Road Market in Salima which was gutted down by fire on Tuesday last week.
The minister said market fires which have become common in Malawi are derailing progress as money that would have been used to build new structures in other areas is used to reconstruct the destroyed markets.
Said Gowelo: “If there are any among the victims who have resources to reconstruct, my advice is that you put in a structure using safer materials such as bricks rather than using tree branches, timber and grass.
“It is very important that we find a way to make our market places safer from fires.”
The minister revealed that rising cases of market fires have made markets a difficult property to insure as all Insurance companies consider them high risk.
Gowelo then said that government is touched by the loss of property.
In the meantime, Salima district commissioner Moses Chimphepo said the final assessment report estimates the total loss of merchandise by fire at K290 million.
He said the figure has taken into account the council structures and the private structures and goods.