(ERGO) – Osman Isack Mursal, the father of a family of 10, is struggling to make ends meet following the loss of his entire wealth in a fire in Bossaso clothing market in June.
Osman, one of 55 shop owners whose stores were burnt down, said he is unable to afford food and rent for his family currently living in Abudwaq district. They have eked out $10 he received from his relatives for the last two weeks.
“Every morning I used to send them some money, but the last time I sent them was the day before the fire destroyed my shop,” he said. “They were supposed to stay in Abudwaq until the schools reopened.”
Osman lost $20,000 in the fire that engulfed the market on 13 June. He needs $300 to bring his family back to Bossaso. They are renting a house in Abudwak and he does not know yet how to pay the $20 rent.
“My family’s daily bill was six dollars, and they lived a good life. But now all that has changed as I have no savings and no one would give me a loan,” he said.
Education fees for four of his children, one in Shafi’i high school and three in lower grades, is $70 a month so it is unclear if they can return to school when it reopens in September. Fortunately, he owns the family house in Bossaso.
Mohamed Omar Mohamud, 35, has lost more than $8,000 in his electronics shop, which was his only source of income. He is now providing for his family of five using $2,000 he saved in his bank account.
“I used to make at least $20 in profits daily from my business. I am feeling the hardship caused by the fire,” he said.
Mohamed said he hoped to get loans from some better off relatives and friends to set up in business again.
The chairman of the Bossaso market committee, Ismail Mohamed Yussuf, told Radio Ergo they are collecting donations from the market traders to support those who lost their businesses.
He said the fire broke out at night and was caused by an electrical fault in one of the stalls.
“We are still collecting the donations and we haven’t distributed anything yet. We will distribute the donations accordingly, starting with the most vulnerable families,” he said.