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What needs to be done now

  • Published at 07:34 pm March 16th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:55 pm March 16th, 2017
What needs to be done now

Again?

This is the third fire to break out in Korail in the span of a year.

The extent of the damage done almost defies belief, with slum-dwellers claiming close to 3,000 houses being gutted in the fire, displacing thousands of people and destroying everything they own.

There is simply no way to quantify this kind of destruction.

It is clear that these fires are not accidents -- they are the work of individuals who wish to use the land on which the Korail slum rests, for their own profit.

What is disgraceful is that the perpetrators have had the nerve to commit arson three times in the same location, and are hoping to get away with it.

No.

The government must now make three things happen in order to rectify the situation.

First, it is imperative to get to the bottom these crimes -- find out who is responsible for these fires and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Second, it must be ensured that this land can never be put to commercial use -- this would guarantee that no one can profit from this terrible crime.

Finally, the authorities need to come up with sustainable, alternative housing for the residents of the area.

Providing decent housing solutions, and not merely ramshackle arrangement lacking sanitary facilities or access to water, is a humanitarian obligation we have towards those who lost their homes in Korail.

It is time to send a clear message: Those who try to profit from arson will never win, and the lives of people, no matter how poor, come first.