IT IS commendable to offer some help at a critical time and it is just the right thing to do.
When a calamity like the Lusaka City Market fire occurs and brings about helplessness and hopelessness, any effort to help the victims is much appreciated.
We know that the fire which engulfed the market in the early hours of Tuesday left untold misery to hundreds of marketeers, some of whom are our own relatives.
The market, on an ordinary day, is a hive of activity, a sure sign of how myriads of Zambians depend on it for survival through the many trading activities that take place there.
And so we feel with the victims of the fire which took away their means of livelihood, rendering them hopeless and helpless. The loss is not only theirs, it is also for every Zambian.
It is common knowledge that those men and women represented many families comprising children and spouses who look up to them for daily sustenance school, apart from members of the extended family.
We also know that a number of the marketeers took long to get to the point they were while others were making an effort to get to higher levels in their businesses.
In their quest to grow their businesses, some of them had to borrow money from sources such as banks, while others borrowed from relatives to keep their trade going on.
When help comes at a time like this one, it is such a relief to the victims and we commend the Bankers’ Association of Zambia (BAZ) for extending a helping hand to the marketeers.
It is the right thing to do. Alleviating the suffering of anyone means the one who is taking the step to help cares for the one who is facing a challenge.
BAZ chairperson Charles Mudiwa said his association is deeply saddened by the fire that swept through the market and the help is meant to alleviate the suffering of thousands of marketeers.
BAZ has taken the lead in rendering assistance to the affected marketeers by pledging to give them K100,000. According to Mr Mudiwa, some of the affected marketeers are customers of various banks affiliated to BAZ.
In rendering this help, BAZ realises the connection with the marketeers and this is cardinal to note.
Each one of us is connected to the marketeers who fell victim to the fire in one way or another and so leaving this task of helping to only others is not a humane thing to do.
BAZ has set an example for all to follow and it is therefore incumbent upon each one, individuals, associations or such groupings to extend a helping hand.
When a disaster of such a magnitude sets in, it is the responsibility of those who are not directly affected to help the victims. This is why in our communities, we even attend funerals of those we did not even know well. We are only practising Ubuntu.
It is this Ubuntu that should now come out so that we help rebuild the lives of friends and relatives who lost their property in the fire. We have the responsibility to lighten their burden and help them make a fresh start.
For the victims of the fire, we urge them to make good use of the help, in whatever form, so that they rebuild their businesses and fend for their families from there.
We know what they are going through just now and the temptation to redirect funds may be real. Let us remember that those who are helping are only sacrificing their resources.