A huge fire destroyed the central market in the capital of Somaliland. The fire started in Waheen market in Hargeisa on Friday night 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.
Hargeisa’s Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jamal Aideed reports 28 injuries, the devastation of thousands of livelihoods, billions 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.
We are saddened to learn of the extensive damage this crisis unfolds so early into Ramadan. Islamic Relief is on the ground working alongside local authorities to assess immediate needs and respond to the tragic loss of livelihoods.
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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