Just a few nights ago I was having dinner outside and noticed that there was a fire on one of the tin shacks not very far, on the other side of the bay. Whether it is due to electric wiring left exposed, malfunctioning generators or the use of candles (many of these areas do not have electricity), it is not uncommon to hear news of families loosing their houses because of fire.

I never thought I was going to experience this, but my house nearly caught fire today! The generator had been working for many hours and one of the circuits must have overheated or something. Suddenly everything went pitch black and the generator was sounding like it was going to explode! One of the lamps then caught fire and the flames were all over the timber - you really have to see houses in the musseques to understand just how dangerous a fire can be. At the time I was shouting like crazy but luckily it was all sorted in a matter of minutes. Nothing that a bucket of water couldn't fix.
Seriously, I don't even want to think if this had happened whilst no-one was looking (we often leave the generator on if we are, for example, next door) :(

This self-building culture is a double-edged sword. Yes, it is great to build your own house, but the problem begins when people want to do everything by themselves, even if they haven't got a clue what they're doing! The precarious conditions of electric wiring, often left exposed to the elements (like the one we have here) can lead to very serious consequences. I mean, you sort of guess what may happen if, in order to turn on a light, you have got to put two wires together...

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