Tanzania: Somali Hotel Paradise Holiday Resort was completely destroyed by fire..


Halkaan ka akhri


Mar 23, 2009 — Two popular beach resorts in Bagamoyo, Coast Region, Paradise Holiday Resort and the Ocenic Bay Hotel and Resort were today reduced to ashes in less than fifteen minutes due to a fire that began in the kitchen of the former. 

Hundreds of the fast growing seaside township’s residents rushed to witness the mid-morning inferno that is likely to render about 380 workers of the two hotels jobless. Eyewitnesses told the ‘Daily News’ ‘that the fire, which is believed to have been ignited by a gas cooker inside the Paradise Resort kitchen, spread fast to other parts of the hotel due to thatched roofs and the strong ocean winds. 

“We had tea break at 10:30a.m. before heading back to the seminar room. After just five minutes of business, the electricity went off. We continued with our session as we did not know what was going on,’’ a hotel guest said. Another seminar participant said it was when they decided to open the windows for air, when they heard people screaming outside. 

‘We got outside only to see fire and smoke all over… we had to run for our lives,” said Mr Donath Mlawila, who was at the hotel, instructing a five-day course for Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) officials. Other witnesses said that the second hotel, Oceanic Bay Hotel and Resort, caught fire when most of its staff went to offer a helping hand to the nighbouring Paradise.


The fire crossed to their hotel without their knowledge, only to realise it when the situation was out of hand. The owner and Chairman of the Paradise Holiday Resort, Mr Abdullahi Nur Guled, said that the total investment of the hotel, which was built in 1997, was 10 million US dollars (more than 13bn/-. He, however, said that the hotel was insured. 

“We could not save anything… the fire began at around 11:30 am. Within 15 minutes, the whole hotel was on fire. Everything is burnt completely,” said the hotel’s Operations Manager, Mr Shukri Ali. The fire did not cause any fatalities except for the massive loss of property. Several cars parked at the hotel were burnt in varying degrees, including a four-wheel drive Nissan Patrol vehicle that was burnt beyond repair. 

Two Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles, one belonging to TANROADS, Mbeya Office, and another to Mr Mlawila, were partly damaged. “When I saw the car partly destroyed, I could not believe my eyes because I failed to take it away as I had left ignition keys in my room which was on fire,” said Mr Mlawila, who said that he had borrowed the car from his friend. 

By the time it was gutted by fire, the Paradise Resort had 89 guests in 82 rooms, with 70 of them participating in four meetings, including 21 TANROADS regional managers from all Mainland regions. “This is the low season, when we make between 60,000 US dollars and 80,000 US dollars (about 78m/- and 94m/-) per day, but we used to reach up to 100,000 US dollars (about 130m/-) per day during peak season. 

These include accommodation costs, conference costs and all other services,” said Mr Ali. The Paradise is prominent for hosting different government and private meetings. It has 95 rooms and employs 180 people on a permanent basis. “Many people will lose their jobs due to this…not only our employees, but also other people who were supplying us with various goods and services,” said Mr Guled. 

The Oceanic Bay Hotel General Manager, Mr Rahul Nayar, said the hotel had employed 200 workers but declined further details on grounds that the owner, who is in Dubai, was the only one to give such details. Bagamoyo District Commissioner Serenge Mrengo said that the district was going to suffer economically from the loss of the two hotels. 

“This is a challenge to hotel owners who prefer thatched roofs. The fire this time spread faster because of the thatched roofs,” said Mr Mrengo. Due to lack of fire tenders in the district, the fire in the two hotels had to be extinguished by fire brigades from Dar es Salaam and Kibaha. “This is a problem for us. We have already ordered four such vehicles for our district and paid 400m/- for them. But delivery has not yet been effected,” said the DC.

Source: Daily News


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