By: Bubacarr Gaye
A devastating fire outbreak yesterday 21st February 2023, consumed Nasser Foam Manufacturing Company at the Sarro layout near the Denton Bridge on the Banjul highway, destroying all the materials therein to ashes.
A Lebanese own factory which has been in operation since 1989, the foam factory has been known for manufacturing mattresses of various sizes, and selling car batteries and other items.
Abdou Secka, an agent of the factory while dwelling on the unfortunate incident, said the inferno occurred early in the morning at around 7am, when he was about on his way to the factory to collect his materials.
That upon arrival, he found that all the corners of the building had already caught fire; that while inspecting the place, he realised that the fire started on the external part of the building.
Secka unveiled that he started working for the Factory in 1990, as their agent and carries finish products from the factory to Serrekunda for sale; That as an agent he was responsible for distributing the factory’s products to customers coming from Bansang, Basse and Farafenni.
“The factory sells and supplies different products like mattresses, carpets, tires, car wheels, car batteries and engine oil, and I am the one in charge of supplying mattresses,” he affirmed.
At this juncture, everything that the factory has in store has been burnt to ash, and not a single item has been salvaged. This is indeed a great loss to the Gambia because many people including government officials, get tires for their cars including other products from this factory.
Basiru Jarju, an eye witness and staff at a nearby fish factory, said the fire disaster has affected almost all Gambians because the company is among the biggest that makes mattresses and other related products in the country.
“I urge the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and all other Gambians who have the means, to come and help the company to rebuild, because its activities impacts on a lot of our Gambian youth through employment and it contributes immensely to our economic growth.
Rohey Mundaw Ceesay, a neighbour also stated that the fire is a huge loss to Gambia and the Lebanese community in the country adding that over 300 people were employed at the factory, the majority of whom are all Gambians. Ms. Ceesay said she worked in foam factory prior to joining Nasser and knows the importance that the factory has for Gambia and the Gambian economy.