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LOPIT WEST - 8 Feb 2019

Over 60 houses burnt to ash at Haba village, Lopit West

Residents of Haba village in Lopit West County in Torit State are desperately living under trees after a grass fire started by a 4-year-old boy on Sunday spread and burnt 64 houses.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, the county commissioner, Lino Attari Obio said the fire gutted 75 granaries of harvested sorghum, 42 goats in three kraals, among several other properties.

“The boy immediately took the fire and set on grass which the mother intended to use for building the house. As fire started burning with the strong winds, it captured the house belonging to the boy’s family and then spread to the whole area burning 64 houses, 75 granaries used for storing sorghum, three kraals of goats killing 42 and there are many unaccounted for items,” said Attari.

He said the population is in dire need for humanitarian assistance, warning that people could leave the area, if not urgently assisted.

“They are in a serious condition now as people are staying under trees and there is nothing they are eating. People are in dire need. Even where they are in now, they are disturbed by strong winds. The issue of assistance is what we are still after and we have formed a committee of organizations to go and assess the situation,” he said.

The official appealed for help as cultivation season approaches.

“If they [residents] can be helped in these six months, they will cultivate and it will help them at this time,” he further stressed.