Assessment of 2021 Sokoto Central Market Fire Disaster: Geographical Perspective

1Ismaila Aliyu, 2Orire I.O. and 1Ishaq Kabir

1Department of Geography, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria
2Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

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Fire has been a source of energy for the human population throughout the history. With the growing urban population in Nigeria, city infrastructures are under pressure. Markets particularly in most Nigerian cities are over congested due to poor planning and illegal allocation of space for shops. Previous experience reveals that whenever there is a fire outbreak in the market it becomes very difficult for firefighters to get access to quench as a result lives are lost and properties are destroyed. Data for this paper were collected from the Sokoto Central Market Management record containing nine major fire incidents since 1980. A sample of 134 purposively sampled respondents were collected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data collected were subjected to simple descriptive statistics and inferential statistics specifically cross-tabulation. Major findings revealed that the careless attitude of shop owners 62.7%) was the main cause of the fire disaster while 55.2 % attested to the fact that the magnitude of damages was the result of the distortion of the market’s master plan and 22%attributed it’s to the lack of functional fire service facilities and inadequate manpower in the market. The major challenge faced by 56% of traders was the loss of customers who could not find them due to their temporary relocation. The study recommended that traders should be incorporated into the post-fire reconstruction of the damaged area so that the required number of shops will be adequately captured in the distribution process. Since the human factor is the cause of most fire disasters, the study further recommended that the Fire Service Department should organize regular sensitization, seminars on the causes, and emergency prevention measures for future recurrence.


Central Market,