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Traders seek support for Custom market fire

By William Madouk Garang

Some traders who were affected by shocking fire on busiest Custom market called for government compensation after they have  lost  everything. 

According to eyewitnesses, fire broke out at 7:00 PM and about 62 shops and 108 makeshifts [Rakuba] had been razed dawn to ashes and nothing was recovered from those shops.

The inferno damaged properties worth over SSP 100 million pounds. However the cause of the fire was not yet known.

Chairperson of Chamber of Commerce – Custom Division, Juma Martin said that though no human injuries was reported but the losses were too high and urged authority to pay damages.  

 “You know this is a Christmas season and many traders have already imported different types of goods and commodities in preparation but now got burnt. The incurred a loss to SSP 100 million or even more”, Martin said.

“I would like to call on government to see a way to stretch out a helping hand and compensate those who were affected,” he added.

In interview with Juba Monitor, a  businessman, Sambel Simba who is a retailer at Custom said that they were very annoyed over the losses and urged the government to intervene and support them.

“we need only support from the government because like this we don’t have anything also to do, we don’t have any way out but with the support from government I think everything will be good,”Simba pleaded.

Another businessman, Yayia Amin Francis lamented that about 450 pairs of shoes got destroyed – equivalent to nine thousand United State Dollar.

“I have almost 450 pairs of shoes, almost USD 9,000 [which got burnt]. So, now I don’t have anything if there is something government can do to us, it can be good so that we get another shops and continue with our business,” Francis underscore. 

A businesswomen who own tailoring and design shop, Mariam Chaban emotionally with tears dropping said all the bed sheets she prepared to sell them out during Christmas season got burnt.  

“Now, I don’t have any penny with me to buy a food to myself and my child and I don’t know where to start or what to do. We urge government to stand and support us,”

She added that government should look into the matter seriously adding all that she had sweated for  just disappeared in thin air.

One of concerned Citizen, Margret A. Jada said custom market is one the busiest markets in town and is of great help to everyone so, she urged authorities to double their efforts and boost the security.

“Anyone who is behind this is someone who does not need development or progress in South Sudan and I would like to call on government to open their eyes and boost security in Custom market,” Jada said.

Last month, a mysterious fire engulfed Malakia market and razed down several makeshifts shops and properties worth thousands of South Sudanese Pounds.

On February five shops got razed down in Jebel market which led to loss of properties worth $ 20,000 dollars though no injuries was documented.

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