Tragedy struck John Chinena market in Central Province on Wednesday, 26th April as the entire market was burnt to the ground. The cause of the fire is still unknown, and despite the efforts of the firefighters, the market was gutted to ashes, resulting in significant losses for traders who relied on the market for their livelihoods.
An initial assessment conducted by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) revealed that approximately 180 traders were affected. The demographics of the affected traders were largely women who depended on the market as their primary source of income. Central Province Permanent Secretary Milner Mwanakampwe expressed relief that no lives were lost in the disaster.
Dr. Gabriel Pollen, the National Coordinator for DMMU, emphasized that the responsibility for disaster management was not solely that of the government. He noted that efforts must be made to reduce the risk of such disasters by building more resilient and better infrastructure. Dr. Pollen encouraged traders to move to designated trading places to reduce the risk of disaster.
In response to the disaster, efforts were made to assist affected traders with food and non-food items, including mealie meal, beans, soya chunks, cooking oil, kapenta, and dignity kits.
John Chinena market has been a source of debate for many years. In 2015, former Vice President Inonge Wina called on stakeholders to contribute towards the transformation of highway markets into modern integrated economic hubs. Mrs. Wina noted that the costs of building these markets countrywide were high, and concerted efforts were needed to realize the vision.
Highway markets, such as John Chinena market, have been utilized by the majority of Zambians, but they lack basic facilities such as clean and safe water, health services, and proper sanitation. In 2020, the PF government constructed the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Central Province’s Chibombo District, on a 600-hectare plot. A unit of China’s Jiangxi United Industrial Investment Ltd built and started to operate an MFEZ,intended to provide a more modern and secure trading place for the community.
The devastating fire at John Chinena market highlights the urgent need for investment in modernized trading places and better infrastructure. Efforts must be made to create safe and secure trading places that can withstand disasters and support the livelihoods of the many traders who depend on them.
Sad for the communityy
Please its not JOHN HIGHWAY —– ITS JOHN CHINENA MARKET.
Do not attempt to change history. MR JOHN CHINENA WILL BE TURNING IN HIS GRAVE!
All those 20 d!xks in yellow vests went to deliver just food? These idyots should have taken planks to rebuild Chinena.
Sad for the community
Don’t worry, it will be rebuilt with modern stalls and amenities this time because government wants to get involved. It’s probably the largest roadside green market in Zambia and has even attracted academic curiosity. I hv read one or two articles in learned journals.
Market stalls put up with no thought at all
These stalls shouldn’t be there in the first place as any speeding vehicle can plough into them and lives maybe lost as they were too close to the road. Now that the dual carriageway is being built its s chance for these marketeers to be relocated to pave way for the same.
Where is JOHN HIGHWAY
Its known John Town, South of Kabwe and a Few miles from Chibombo.
and a motorist did plough into a stall some years back and was prosicuted
These are the issues that require attention of helping people of John Highway, Not the deregistration or non deregistration of PF, which does not help anybody. Instead of putting their house in order the PF are as usual arguing, rebranding can ever take place with these characters, UPND is also busy responding to this non issue of PF deregistration or non deregistration giving credence to a non issue. The sequence of demise is known – UNIP, MMD, PF period. Let us just be laying wreaths of these parties
Another week another 12 year old girl killed by a crocodile whilst drawing water in Lake Kariba. You will not hear any radio station, any TV station, any politician talk about these things. All questions on TV live programs will be politics, with questions being long wound essays. They will talk about John Highway, deregistration of PF and other non value adding things.
We have been enjoying the services at John Chinena long before these chaps were born.
Let ’em all burn down.This is a sad legacy of PF regularizing street vending in 2011 just to attract votes thereby creating a lawless,chaotic and filthy country.
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