By Arret Jatta
Goods and properties worth millions of Dalasis were lost after a devastating fire engulfed Nasser Foam Manufacturing Factory on the morning of Tuesday 21st February 2023. Our reporter spoke to a number of devastated staff working at the company located a stone’s throw away from Denton bridge in Sarro.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started around 4 to 5 am in the morning, however, the cause of the fire was not known.
Nasser Foam Manufacturing & General Enterprises Gambia Co. Ltd. produced both wholesale and retail foam products. The company imports foam sheets that are manufactured locally for bed mattresses, chair seats and other sponge products. The company also imports and sells vehicle tires, engine oil, car batteries and much more to name a few.
When our reporter visited the building, they observed that it was seriously damaged by fire as seen in the pictures. Thankfully no casualties were recorded up to the time of publication.
One employee named Momodou Jallow who claims to have worked for the Company for five years explained that when they rushed to the scene around 5 am they “discovered that the fire has gotten out of control”. He added that they could not save any items. “Everything [was] burnt to ashes, this shows how devastating this [fire incident was], [and] not only to us but the entire nation,” he enthused.
Speaking on the fate of his job security Mr Jallow revealed that he “relied greatly on this company for my survival and waking up to it being burned to ashes is devastating”.
Soliciting support from the Government Mr Jallow pleaded for their intervention to support the company maintain its employees. Jallow highlighted that the “company has helped in reducing the unemployment rate in the country”. According to him Nasser Factory “has over 100 staff that rely on it and now we are all considered jobless”.
One Sulayman Marong employed by Nasser Company as a driver said he has been working in the company for over 13 years and hailed the company’s long-standing support. “I have been working here for over 13 years and I witnessed how helpful the factory has been to not only me but the country at large. The government should intervene and help the management to at least recover [their] loss,” said Mr Marong.
It is also observed that the fire rescue service has been transporting water to put out the fire. Our reporter made efforts to interview the Chief Executive Officer, however, he was unreachable.