Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Vice President’s Office has come to the aid of 69 marketeers who lost their merchandise in an inferno which recently swept through Riverside Market in Kapiri Mposhi district.
And a further seven traders who lost their goods in a fire that gutted their restaurants and shops at Kapiri Mposhi Bus Stop in April this year have also been provided with relief.
Vice President, Mutale Nalumango disclosed the development in Kapiri Mposhi yesterday when she addressed the affected traders after touring part of the burnt down Riverside Market.
Mrs Nalumango stressed that President Hakainde Hichilema and his government do not take lightly any stumbling block to efforts being made by any Zambian to better their livelihoods.
” Government was deeply saddened about the fire incident and has provided this little support to commiserate with you. Receive this little support as you find ground to get back your livelihoods after the tragedy that struck you,” Mrs Nalumango said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Nalumango has described as evil if the burning down of the market was intentional as a lot of families subsist from the trading site.
The Vice President urged marketeers to be cautious and not to leave fire in their stands to prevent similar calamities in future.
” This is not good… it is evil if this is a form of sabotage by some individual of which we are not saying it is because it could also be accidental. But marketeers should ensure they protect the markets and they don’t leave fire in their shops to prevent similar accidents,” Ms Nalumango said.
Ms Nalumango explained that each affected marketeer will be provided with monetary relief of K 1000, a 25 KG bag of mealie meal and 10 kg bags of rice and beans respectively.
K 615,000 worth of merchandise were destroyed Monday this week after fire swept through a storage house and about 27 shops at Riverside Market in Kapiri Mposhi district.
The merchandise includes bales of second-hand clothes, grains, groceries and farm produce belonging to marketeers at the trading site which has been burnt to ashes.
The infernal whose cause has not been established yet is believed to have started around 03:00 hours.
Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Garry Nkombo says there is need for Riverside Market to be relocated to a safer location away from the railway line to avert impending accidents involving trains and traders.
Mr Nkombo observes that the market is too near to the Zambia Railways line potentially exposing traders to accidents.
” I’m a little bit concerned to see that this market is right near the railway line … I’m afraid a bigger accident can happen here. You are not safe and we need to find a better trading place,” Mr Nkombo said.
” I’m not saying we are chasing you from here but we need to sit down and talk to find a lasting solution,” He added.
And Kapiri Mposhi Constituency Member of Parliament, Stanley Kakubo has thanked both President Hakainde Hichilema and Vice President Mutale Nalumango for taking interest in the burning down of Riverside Market in his area which he said greatly disturbed lives of families of affected marketeers.
Mr Kakubo who is also Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, explained that the swift response to the tragic event is an indication of how government values it’s people in the district.
The Vice President was also accompanied to Kapiri Mposhi by Minister of Green Economy, Collins Nzobvu, Copperbelt Minister, Elisha Matambo and Central Province Minister Credo Nanjuwa.
And delivering a vote of thanks on behalf of the marketeers, Riverside Compound Chairperson, Musaka Chiboleka commended government for coming to the aid of the traders.