Fire destroys almost 100 homes on Wite island

A fire destroyed almost 100 homes on Wite Island, one of the 88 islands that make up the Bijagos archipelago

A fire caused by a child destroyed nearly 100 houses on Wite Island (Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau), leaving dozens of families without a roof, said local youth officer Nuno Pereira.

A child was playing with fire in the kitchen, where an elderly woman was preparing food, said the person in charge of the island's youth, who is now collecting data on the damages caused by the fire.

According to Nuno Pereira, the fire occurred on Tuesday evening and "spread rapidly," reaching 99 houses - mostly thatched - as "there are practically no trees" on Wite Island.

"These houses are right next to one another, so the fire spread easily," said Nuno Pereira, who asked for help to meet the requests of "dozens of families" that have been sleeping on the streets, under cashew nut trees.

Bubaque Administrator Francisco Moreira visited Wite Island today to assess the damage and inform the central government in Bissau about the measures to be taken.

Most of the island's adults were working in the fields when the fire broke out, hence the large number of affected houses, Nuno Pereira said.