Fire burns down Dar's iconic Kariakoo market

Sunday July 11 2021
Kariakoo pic1
By Louis Kalumbia

Dar es Salaam. The 47-year-old Kariakoo Market located at the heart of Dar es Salaam has been ravaged by a hungry inferno that broke out in the early hours of Saturday night and could be seen from miles away.

The Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Amos Makalla confirmed on Saturday, July 10, 2021 when he spoke on the phone to The Citizen’s sister newspaper Mwananchi.

“It is true that the market is burning. Fire broke about 30 minutes ago,” he said declining to provide more details as he was coordinating rescue and response operations at the scene.

Kariakoo pic

This paper couldn’t immediately and independently establish the cause of the inferno and possible loss as rescue efforts are underway.

However, the potential losses could run into hundreds of billions of shillings given the market's role as a trading hub for Tanzania and other countries such as Congo, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda among others.

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On June 1, 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan ordered the suspension of the market leadership during her impromptu visit after expressing her frustrations over the way the market was being managed and operated.

She said the government was going to evaluate how the market was managed and whether the same Kariakoo Market Corporation leaders should be reinstated or the management of the profitable market should be shifted to the Dar es Salaam City Council.

The Head of State said principally leaders had failed to meet the government’s expectations to support small scale traders; instead they were busy looking at profiting for themselves and the organization.

“The situation I have witnessed shows that no relief is given to small scale traders. Therefore, my decision to suspend leaders while the market’s management and operation is evaluated,” she instructed.

The market that serves over seven million Dar es Salaam residents was constructed in 1974 under a Tanzanian architecture Beda Amuli.