A huge fire destroyed the central market in the capital of Somaliland. The fire started in Waheen market in Hargeisa on the night of Friday, April 1 and continued into Saturday morning as firefighters took several hours to bring the fire under control due to size, density and access to the market.
This has resulted in 28 injuries, the devastation of 500,000 to 700,000 livelihoods, $2 billion USD in damage, and an immense loss to the city’s economy.
The biggest open-air market in the city acted as the economic centre of Hargeisa, accounting for 40-50% of the city’s economy. As a cultural and economic hub of activity for the city’s 1.2 million population, the market was a lifeline for families who invested their livelihoods into their small businesses.
The fire comes amidst the first few hours of Ramadan, when the food business traditionally booms as Muslims gather to prepare meals and feast together as a community.
Somaliland is in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Food commodity prices have skyrocketed and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 families remain devastated in the aftermath.
Islamic Relief is on the ground, responding through immediate financial aid to impacted businesses, and vulnerable families, as well as providing long term recovery support.
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