By Mustapha Ceesay
Ten second-hand-cloth vendors at Farato market have on Thursday [today]been rendered jobless, after they lost their entire goods to flames, last night.
Baturu Bajo and nine others had their store [a stall]at the mentioned market where they kept several bales of second hand clothes burnt down on Wednesday at about 9pm. The items are estimated to have worth at least D150, 000.
The store was originally run by Baturu Bajo and two other colleagues at the market, behind the police station. And they later invited seven others to keep their goods there every evening, after sales. And at the end of the month, they unanimously pay the rent, until this happens.
Speaking on behalf of the victims, Baturu Bajo, acknowledged that they lost in entirety their goods which will pose a great challenge to them and their family members whom they sustained from the businesses.
“All our merchandise got burnt. We are up to 10 vendors. When we assessed the damage. We realised that we have lost at least D150, 000 altogether. It will pose a great challenge for us and our businesses. We sustain our families from these businesses. What we earn is what we depend on for our survival. It becomes hard in business to recover when you lose D2, 000, let alone D150, 000,” he said.
Baturu appeal: “We are appealing for assistance from any one, because we have our families that we sustain from our businesses which are no more.”
Giving an account of the incident, eyewitness, Musa Badjie, a mobile technician whose workshop is adjacent to the store said the fire started last night [Wednesday], after he completed the night prayer.
“I was busy at my workshop, and I couldn’t join the congregation at the Mosque. So, I decided to pray alone. After I performed the prayer, I tried to put on my shoes. And, I looked around the store. I saw the place on fire. Then I called the attention of the people. They thought I was joking. That’s how I rushed to break the padlock. First, I used a stone, it didn’t work. Then, I used a hammer which was effective. But the flames had already engulfed the place. Later, with the help of the Fire & Rescue Services, and neighbours, we extinguished the flames from expanding to other parts of the market,” the witness narrated.
Although the fire claimed no lives, what remains evident is that the men went to bed self-employed, but woke-up jobless, following the unexpected and unfortunate occurrence, overnight.
Without a job now, their biggest worry is how would they sustain their families and also restart their business.