By Patience Loum, Banjul, The Gambia – Friday, February 28, 2020.
Basse Santa Su, usually called Basse, a town in Gambia’s Upper River Region has witnessed a massive fire outbreak in its central market, Monday, February 24, 2020, leaving hundreds of business owners devastated.
Details regarding the number of affected stalls are yet to be released. Mahamadou Kanteh, who spoke to National Telegraph from Basse said although the market has witnessed other fire outbreaks in the past, this is the first time something huge like this has ever been seen.
He said however that the fire started somewhere around 7 pm Monday night and is speculated to be caused by an electric short circuit. “Over seven forex and money transfer bureaus and hundreds of super and mini-shops were burnt. I can safely say millions of dalasis worth of goods and cash were burnt to ashes,” Kateh said.
One of the victims, Babucarr Camara said the outbreak also razed power pylons in the market area which left the residents scared.“This is one of the gravest economic losses to not only Basse but the whole region,” he said.
Mama Kandeh, one of the opposing political party members residing in the neighbouring village, Jimara, donated a total amount of D200,000 to the affected victims.
On Wednesday, the United Democratic Party, UDP, led by leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe traveled to Basse and donated D400, 000 to the victims.
Firefighters were among the first respondent and were seen rushing to the market to put out the fire. Elements of Gambian police also deployed to the market ensured looting was minimized.