A massive fire swept through the #Shada market near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, early Thursday, May 4. The inferno devoured thousands of dollars’ worth of goods, leaving distraught vendors to mourn their losses.
Before sunrise, vendors desperately attempted to extinguish the blaze by throwing sand on the flaming roofs, with firefighters arriving later to join the effort. The market, a vital hub for the community, hosts hundreds of vendors selling a wide range of goods, from bananas and yams to charcoal and spinach.
Stevenson Midi, a 42-year-old vendor, lost hundreds of dollars’ worth of produce. As he surveyed the smoldering ruins, he and other vendors expressed concern over their ability to repay bank loans. “It’s going to be even harder to pay back,” he lamented to AP.
Amid the chaos, devastated vendors could be heard screaming, “Why did this happen to me?!” and “What did we do wrong?!” As they sought answers, a bulldozer started the process of clearing the debris.
The cause of the fire remains unknown. Its occurrence comes at a time when #Haiti is grappling with deepening poverty, hunger, political instability, and escalating gang violence, further exacerbating the nation’s ongoing struggles.
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