The tragedy at Kya Sands yesterday brings home the conditions in which so many people in our country have to live. Their lives turned to ash in one foul swoop. There is no such thing as insurance for a shack dweller and what was lost has gone forever. Up in smoke.
If a fire tragedy does not take a life, it takes away every material belonging in one’s life. By the time of going to print yesterday, community members had said an unattended paraffin stove triggered the disaster. The value of education around the use of candles and paraffin stoves cannot be downplayed.
But, as with so much else in this world, the difficulty comes in turning education into behavioural change. If ever there was a metaphor for how one person’s actions can affect an entire community, this was it. The best solution, obviously, would be for everyone in this country to go home to decent living conditions and not have to sleep in a corrugated iron and wood shack. Our heart goes out to the Kya Sands families affected by the blaze.