While the country is grappling with the impact of market fires that are leaving hundreds of vendors and traders destitute, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has started enforcing installation of fire fighting equipments in market across the country.
Principal Secretary for the ministry Stuart Ligomeka confirmed of the development, saying the move was arrived at by the ministry’s committee on fires.
“The Ministerial Committee on Fires recommended that all markets should have fire hydrants and extinguishers. Right now councils have started the implementation,” said Ligomeka.
Ligomeka said meanwhile markets in Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Blantyre have started installing the needed fire fighting equipments.
“From now on all markets constructed will be required to have a design that accommodates fire fighting equipments but also improved accessibility. But councils are also working on installing the equipments in existing markets,” he added.
He said that the councils are working jointly with water boards in implementing the initiative.
Two days ago a market and a bus depot were razed by fire in Mulanje and Mchinji districts respectively.
The fire incidents in the two districts comes a month after another fire gutted down Lilongwe Main Market, burning billions of money in merchandise and left hundreds of vendors destitute.
The incident has forced government through Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to send three senior officials at Lilongwe City Council on suspension.