Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble announced on Sunday that Somalia’s federal government would release $11.7 million in assistance as part of the emergency response to the devastating fire that destroyed Hargeisa’s primary commercial market, Waheen, on Saturday.
The market, which is the city’s largest open-air market, was a busy place, with hundreds of small vendors and businesses. The cause of the fire in Waheen market, the city’s central commercial hub in Hargeisa and home to thousands of shops and stalls, is not yet known.
“Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has ordered the immediate release of $11,700,000 in Federal Government of Somalia accounts, an international grant, for development projects in Somaliland, to strengthen the emergency response to the catastrophic fire that destroyed the main market in Hargeisa,” said PM Roble.
Responding to news of the disaster, the Prime Minister met with Somali business leaders on Sunday to discuss measures to assist those affected by the catastrophic fire that decimated the market.
According to Hargeisa’s mayor, Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge, Initial estimates suggest that traders lost about $2 billion worth of assets. Firefighters battling the blaze had trouble accessing the fire, which burned for more than 12 hours.
The fire, which started on Friday evening, immediately spread throughout the market and destroyed the market, said a resident. According to local media, at least 28 people were also injured in the fire, but there have been no reported fatalities.