By Protus Onyango
Kisumu, Kenya: Property worth a million shillings was destroyed when fire gutted 60 houses at Bundo market in the outskirts of Kisumu city.
The 5pm fire in which no fatality was reported, is said to have been started by a jiko after a tenant who was cooking food left it to buy salt at a nearby shop.
“The lady who spent some time at the shop chatting with a friend only realised her mistake when passers-by saw smoke billowing from her house,” Dickson Mokaya who is the landlord said.
He added, “All the 60 houses constructed using ironsheets have been burnt to ashes. All my tenants have lost property worth Sh1 million because nothing was salvaged as all of them had not come back from work.”
Omamba Karani, a tenant who was returning from work said he called the Kisumu County fire brigade but they took long before arriving at the scene.
“The fire brigade took 45 minutes to arrive and though they have managed to put out the fire, we have not managed to save anything. I have lost all my property and do not know what to do,” Mr Karani said.
Another neighbour, Isaiah Langat said he lost property worth Sh300, 000.
“I have lost my two beds, seats, clothes and other household property worth Sh300, 000. Now I have to leave like a pauper who never owned a thing,” Langat said.
The residents have appealed to the county government to provide them with food, mattresses blankets as well as temporary sheds before helping construct houses for them.
“I have a young child and I don’t have even a place to sleep. I am going to sleep in the cold and this will affect my child. Let the government help us because we do not have money,” said Janet Anyona, a wife to Dan Shikolia, a security guard at Standard Group office in Kisumu.