By Dawda Baldeh
Massive fire outbreak over the weekend destroyed dozens of cashew farms in Kiang Keneba, Lower River Region leaving families shocked and appealing for financial support.
Speaking to the Daily news, Ebrima Bajo victim of the fire said, the farm was the only source of his family’s survival. “I am a teacher but the Salary I received is not good enough to take care of my needs, that’s why I engage in cashew farming”, he said.
The father of 5 told the Daily news that he use the money generated from the farm to feed his family, pay school fees for his sons and daughters also to buy clothing for the family.
Speaking further, Bajo said, the farm he lost to bush fire takes care of most needs of the family. “When there is a bumper harvest, the family will sometimes harvest over two hundred (200) bags of cashew”, explain to the Daily.
The husband of one said, he been working on the farm over twenty years (20) until hopes were high, the fire ended destroying all leaving the shocked and worried seeking for help.
According to Bajo, his farm has over one thousand three hundred (1300) cashew plants that have been burned by the fire. “This fire has really affected the family and now leaving us in serious conditions”, he added.
He said there a total of 20 family members all of who benefits from the farm. “Am urging the public to help me and my family because the fire has destroyed the entire farm”
According to him, the family was at the farm trying to stop the fire but the environment was too windy, that B they could not stop the fire which result ended up burning all the farm. He added the cause of the fire was not known to them.
Lamin Ceesay another victim told the Daily news that the fire begins on Tuesday and has claimed the lives of some domestic animals.
Ceesay said the fire has destroyed his farm and that of his father and they are left with nothing.
“If this farm was harvested, normally we generate over 100,000 Dalasi yearly and now we have lost it all”, he explained.
Rabiyatpu Bah said the fire has shock the entire community and leave them stranded. “I have never seen such fire in my life” she said.
We are appealing for support as our hopes are totally on these farms, now they are destroyed by the fire we have no other way to generate income for our living.
She added this year they were expecting a bumper harvest than last year. She told the Daily news that her son sustained burns on his hands as a result of the fire.
Momodou Manneh Councilor of Kiang Banta Ward said fire has become annual event in the community but this has cause a huge destruction and both plants and animals destroyed.
“I have never seen such a fire in the community”. He pointed fingers to the community for allowing fire incident to occurred every year adding sometimes the community will know the person behind the cause of the fire but they will not report the person.