Somaliland: Waaheen Market inferno losses estimated up to $2 Billion

A massive fire in an expansive market in the capital of Somaliland destroyed property worth up to $2 billion, according to a preliminary assessment released by a national task force looking into the fire losses.

At least 28 people were wounded in the Friday night fire that ravaged Waheen market, a major source of livelihood for the residents of Hargeisa.

The loss on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan sparked despair among many at home and outsiders who say they will help Somaliland in rebuilding the market.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but some traders in Hargeisa said they believe a bad electrical connection may have been the cause.

World leaders have spoken of the effect of the disaster as the British prime minister shared his thoughts with Hargeisa residents a day after the fire broke out.

“Saddened to see the aftermath of the fire in Hargeisa with such destruction in the open market that is the economic heart of the city, affecting many small and family enterprises,” British Prime Minister said on Twitter. “Your city will rise again and the UK will do what we can to support Somaliland’s rebuilding effort.”

Some residents in Hargeisa who spoke to AP said the fire shattered their livelihood. “It is a major hit on the first day of Ramadan, as so many of us rely on this market,” said businesswoman Hodan Ali, who lost property in the inferno.

Part of this report is contributed by AP