Ebrima Bajo, victim of the fire told our reporter that his family was benefiting from the farm that the fire has burnt completely. “I am a teacher but the salary I receive is not good enough which is why I engage in cashew farming,” he said.
The father of 5 added that he uses the money generated from the farm to feed his family, pay school fees for his children and also buy clothing for the family.
He further said that the farm he lost is beneficial to his family and they are worried on what their living conditions will be. “When there is a bumper harvest, the family will sometimes harvest over two hundred (200) bags of cashew,” he explained.
According to Bajo, his farm has over one thousand three hundred (1300) cashew plants that have been burned by the fire. “The fire has really affected the family and now leaving us in serious condition,” he added.
He said: I have 16 brothers and sisters and they all benefit from the farm. I’m urging the public to help me and my family because the fire has destroyed the farm.
He said his family was at the farm to stop the fire but the environment was too windy they could not stop the fire, resulting in burning entire the farm.
He also said that the cause of the fire was not known. “We just saw the fire and planned to put a stop to it but we could not stop it because the environment was hot and windy,” he said.
Lamin Ceesay, another victim, said the fire began on Tuesday and claimed the lives of some domestic animals.
Ceesay said the fire has destroyed his farm and his father’s, leaving them with nothing.
“After harvest, normally we generate over 100,000 dalasis yearly,” he explained.
Rabiyatu Bah said the fire has shocked the entire community and left them stranded. “I have never seen such a fire in my life,” she claimed.
“We are appealing for support as our hopes are totally on the farms and now they are destroyed by the fire, we have no other way to generate income for our living.”
She added that this year they were expecting a bumper harvest than last year. She said her son sustained burns in his hands as a result of the fire.
Momodou Manneh, a councilor of Kiang Banta Ward, said fire outbreaks have become annual events in the community but this one has caused a huge destruction as both plants and animals have perished.
“I have never seen such a fire in the community,” he said. He pointed finger at the community for allowing fire incident to occur every year, adding sometimes the community does know the person who caused the fire but they would not report the person.