Kariakoo traders plead for fresh capital after fire ruin

19Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Kariakoo traders plead for fresh capital after fire ruin

OVER 100 traders at the burnt Kariakoo market are appealing to authorities to arrange low interest rate loans as capital so that they can start afresh after their stalls and goods went up in flames a week ago.

The city traders who are now idle and counting the costs also want the government to make good its promise to secure them new stalls at the recently constructed Kisutu market as well as at the Machinga Complex, both within one kilometer from the centrally placed market

Anna Mzema, the Kariakoo Stall Owners Association secretary told this paper yesterday that the problem they now face is capital, even with the government moving to assist them to relocate to other central business district markets.

Being the leader of the 124 traders whose goods went up in flames, she said that just 19 traders came out unscathed, affected by the disaster.

“We have been given temporary sanctuary at the Kisutu Market even though the space is small,” she stated, expressing gratitude to Regional Commissioner Amos Makalla, Ilala DC and city trade officers for assistance rendered.

“As we wait for the Prime Minister’s assessment, we do not yet know what our fate shall be,” she remarked.

Noting that many among the traders were of advanced age with family responsibilities, starting other lines of business was difficult for them, in which case low interest loans could send them back to market business, she emphasised.

“We ask for long term low interest loans as people have been psychologically affected, with some starting to be infected with illnesses. In order to come back to business, what new business can they do?” she demanded.

Stephen Lusinde, the chairman of the petty traders association told this paper that despite the fire victims getting other areas for business, there was a huge challenge of capital.

Out of 1,636 Kariakoo traders affected by the fire, about 570 were relocated along Swahili Street and others at Kisutu Market and at the Machinga Complex.

“Swahili Street in Kariakoo has been relocated to 340 traders out of the 570, and those who were selling food and vegetables have been relocated to the Machinga Complex,” added Lusinde.

John Shao, the chairman of the Kariakoo Main Market Traders Association, said the traders have been relocated to other areas since late last week even though the spaces were not enough for all of them.

“Space for conducting business is small, for example a trader who had three or four stalls will get one area,” he said.

Meat and fish sellers along with insecticides and pesticides vendors were relocated at the Kisutu Market, while sellers of equipment have been relocated at the Machinga Complex, he elaborated.

After the fire incident, President Samia Suluhu Hassan instructed defence and security organs to investigate the disaster to find out its cause, while Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa formed a probe team that was given seven days to come up with probe findings.