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NZARA - 3 Mar 2021

Wildfire razes homes in Nzara County

More than ten houses were burned by a wildfire in Nzara County of Western Equatoria State on Monday.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire is suspected to have started at a bush in Sakure Payam of Nzara county.

Emmanuel Gimigu, a resident and an eyewitness told Radio Tamazuj that the fire which began at 10 am continued burning till evening. 

“It is more than ten around Sakure here, which were burnt including the house of the Payam administrator. All his properties burnt to ashes because he was not present," he said. "I would like to appreciate the army who came and help us to put the fire off." 

Lucia Emmanuel a victim of the fire, says she lost all her possessions and has no shelter nor food.

“What happened was the fire came when we were not at home and the fire has burned everything. We are now just left with nothing and we are now sheltering under the tree," she bemoaned.

Dominic Donato says he has lost about 500,000 SSP, money he kept as capital for his business and a generator. "The fire burned three of my houses burning all my properties include my business materials,” he added.

Donato urged the government and non-governmental organizations working in the area to come to their aid as they restart life.

Sakure Payam Executive Chief Louise Tertizio linked the fire to bushes left around residential areas.

"The cause of the fire is what people are doing by having a plot here and they are staying in Yambio Town. They have left the places here to become bushes. When a fire starts and nobody is around, who will stop it?" he said.

He urged residents to clear bushes around their surroundings to avoid such incidents.

Meanwhile, Col. Henery Malesh, the Director of Fire Bridge in Western Equatoria State said there are many reports of wildfires in the region and called on residents to exercise caution.

"My plan now is to train traders and community leaders on the causes of fire outbreaks and what to do in case of a fire. The only challenge is that people do not come for the training and they do not adhere to preventive measures," he added. 

He also admitted that his department is not efficient due to a lack of firefighting equipment which is necessary to fight such fires. He called on the government and non-governmental organizations to support the department and save lives and property.