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Phuduhudu farmer losses millions in fire

A farmer at Phuduhudu farms near Jwaneng suffered a great loss when his warehouse was gutted by fire on Saturday afternoon, resulting in  millions of loss in farm produce and property.

In an interview, the farmer, Mr Elias Ramosu indicated that he lost a total of 150 tonnes of maize worth around P4.8 million, five tonnes of beans worth around P170 000, a tractor and its trailer worth P650 000 while the warehouse was worth P1.1 million..

Narrating the tragedy, Mr Ramosu indicated that the incident occurred on Saturday between 4-5pm. 

“We had just finished loading some maize bags into the tractor and parked it as it was supposed to leave the following morning for packaging. After loading we did other farm chores before I took a nap in the nearby house while the rest of the farm workers continued working at the field,” he said.

Mr Ramosu said that he was then jostled from his sleep by his son who informed him that the warehouse was on fire. He said that they then called up the other farm workers to come help extinguish the fire.

“Unfortunately the fire was too much for us. We were lucky enough that one of our neighbours happed to have the contact numbers for the Fire Department in Jwaneng, and even though they arrived within fifteen minutes, the fire had already done damage and the warehouse had collapsed in,” he said.

Mr Ramosu said that they had no idea what could have caused the fire, adding that they could not move the tractors as the fire started around it.

“The fire started engulfing the tractor and was made worse by the fact that it was full of diesel,” he said. 

Mr Ramosu however, indicated that he only took solace in the fact that all the property except the trailer were insured.

“I am also happy that although all my employees are fully insured, none of them got injured,” he said. 

Mr Ramosu said they were still awaiting police investigations before they could submit claims with their insurer.

Mr Ramosu, who is a renowned farmer in the Phuduhudu area, said that this year he did not plough as much as he often did.

 “This year I only ploughed my 217 hectares farm and a few that I had borrowed from some people. I normally plough all my fields which total 1 200 hectares,” he said, giving an eerie picture of how bad the damage could have been had he ploughed all the land.

For his part, the assistant station commander for Jwaneng police, Assistant Superintendent Mogotsi Thelo said that they were not yet in a position to tell the cause of the fire as investigations were still at infancy stage and that they were working in collaboration with the Department of Fire Services in the investigations. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : Jwaneng

Event : Interview

Date : Oct 27 Tue,2020

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