Business people in Kong’elai trading center in Kapenguria, West Pokot County are counting huge losses after property worth millions of shillings, academic and birth certificates were reduced to ashes after fire gutted premises on Saturday night.
Among the structures razed down are wholesale shops, retail shops, M-Pesa shops, hotels, phone accessories store, food kiosks, salons, and electrical shops.
According to residents, the cause of the fire has not been established as the shops had no electricity connection.
Musa Amakal, the Kong’elai market chairman said that more than eight houses were razed down, saying they were surprised by the fire incident.
A victim, Mr. Lotuu Korikile, has called for assistance from the County government, “All our property has been destroyed and we want the County to help us….I arrived at the work station only to find everything burnt to ashes,” he said.
Alex Lokwan who also lost his child’s school and birth certificates in the tragic incident said they suspect foul play in the incident, “We must know the person behind this and stern action should be taken.”
Riwo ward Representative David Alekulem who visited the affected people said they have lost more than six million shillings, and called on the government to help the affected business people. “These people are used to business and every one depends on them.”
He said that economy of the area has been affected and urged security agencies to investigate the cause of the fire. Kapenguria OCPD Mr. Julius Kyumbule said police are investigating the cause of the fire.