On April 2, as Muslims around the world welcomed Ramadan – the holy and blessed month of fasting, prayer and charity – residents of Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, were woken up by a horrific fire that rampaged their entire marketplace housing thousands of shops and businesses. Dozens of people were injured and fortunately there have been no reports of fatalities. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
Unfortunately, the tragic and destructive fire that has left thousands displaced and millions impacted for the foreseeable future received little or no media coverage or attention.
Somaliland is a de facto state which broke away from Somalia over 30 years ago. The Waheen market is one of the largest markets in East Africa and the economic centre of Hargeisa where hundreds of thousands of local merchants earn their living. As a consequence, this has left many businesses and middle-class people stranded for basic necessities.
The economic effect of this horrific incident is costly. A preliminary report estimates the losses to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, affecting 40-50% of the nation's economy.
In response to the Hargeisa Fire Catastrophe, Relieve Humanity International (RHI) is calling on Canadians across the country to provide their support and raise awareness for those who have been affected by the disaster. All those who have lost their livelihoods, as well as the poor and less fortunate, are in serious need of assistance.
RHI is urging the Canadian government to support those affected and respond to this catastrophe, as well as to aid in preventing the country's infrastructure from collapsing into an even greater crisis.
For more information and to donate, please visit:
SOURCE: Relieve Humanity International
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