Douala(National Times)-Fire whose cause still remains unknown has again swept across portions of the Congo Market in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital 19 days after another outbreak that razed over 150 shops. Details of the incident which broke out at nightfall Friday March 15th are yet to be communicated to the public.
The Governor of the Littoral Region, Samuel Dieudonne Ivaha Dibuoua, the Prefect for Wouri Joseph Betrand Mache and the Government Delegate to the Douala City Council Fritz Ntone Ntone stormed the scene shortly after getting news of the incident.
Firefighters from across Douala were moblilised to the scene but the flames had caused sizable damage. Hundreds of city dwellers among them traders cheered in awe as the firefighters battled the flames.
Other traders who had gone home streamed to the market back to get details of the damaged portions of the market.
At the time of this piece, there had been no official statement in relation to the incident. Today’s incident is thus the 34th in 12 years to have ravaged the same market.
On Thursday February 28, Territorial Administration Minister Paul Nji Atanga visited the same market after the last fire incident. Then , he shared FCFA 32.5 million from president Paul Biya to some 162 identified victims.
Yet pockets of grumblings erupted that, the names victims were not found on the list of those compensated. Atanga left Douala after holding consultation meetings with authorities announcing a temporary relocation of traders to permit the reconstruction of the market.
On March 4th this year, at least 200 stalls at the EligEdzoa Market in Yaounde Cameroon’s political capital were reduced to rubble. The same minister Atanga Nji alongside the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council Gilbert Tsimi Evouna visited the victims. The traders each received FCFA 200.000 government support.
Before these, there was another fire incident on November 28, 2018 at the Food Market in Bamenda, North West Regions. State authorities have usually blamed the haphazard construction of stalls and electrical connections as the cause of the recurrent fire outbreak.