We posted last week about a huge fire in the central market in Bujumbura which has devastated the country.  Many of the widows we support had small businesses which were destroyed in the fire.  In many cases, these women have bank loans that they cannot repay because their businesses burned, and now they have no way to provide for their families.  Suzanne in Burundi writes:

“The rest of Burundi’s news, I don’t know how to tell you what has been happening since I told you that the central market has been burned. I have heard and seen bad things that I have never seen since I was born and I don’t have any force to talk about them….

Many women specially widows died from heart attack, others are in the hospitals or became mad or traumatized because their merchandises and money have been burned in the market.  Two days ago, the policemen were chasing women in order not to sell their small business on the street (as they got an order from people in high position), they were also taking their baskets of their merchandises  one of those women, a widow, broke out and became a mad woman right away. She was trying to get money for feeding her children and she was one of the victims of the burned market. She was taken to the hospital, her case was shown on a private television.

Everything went up, the prices have been doubled, corruption, insecurity, injustice, stealing… became a daily life !  I just seat with widows and try to comfort them….”

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Outskirts of the marketplace in Bujumbura