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Wednesday, February 25 2009

Owino Market Fire
                    Owino Market Fire
It is not clear what caused the fire but what is clear so far is that St.Balikudembe market commonly known as Owino market is a hip of ashes after it was gutted by fire early this morning at about 5:00am.  All the stalls plus items which consisted among others second hand clothes were burnt down to ashes. Over 20,000 traders are believed to have lost their goods worth billions of shillings in the process. The Mayor of Kampala Hajji Nasser Ntege Sebagala was at the scene but the traders later charged and started hitting his car with stones forcing the driver to speed off.

The fire department is a stone throw away from Owino market but the fire brigades had no water at the time the fire was spreading to the entire market. It took another fire fighting company, Fire Masters from Entebbe 40 kms away from the scene to come and put it down.

5 people were injured in the process though no deaths were registered. Parliament will be having a special session next week to tackle the rampant fires that have occurred in the recent past.

Riot police and Military police were deployed in various parts of down town Kampala as the traders were becoming violent after the loss. It is also assumed that many of these traders keep money in these stalls so it is not only property and goods that were caught up but also cash.

The shops along that area did not open as traders who were mourning the loss of their property plus sympathizers gathered to witness what was Kampala's most popular market in flames. As the fire started some people were able to communicate to those they knew to come to the scene but even when they got there, police stopped them from going to the stalls either because they could not tell who the bonafide owners were at the time or they were only being responsible by saving lives and letting the property go.

A yellow bus was seen trying to cruise along that area and as fate could have it the traders threw stones at it shattering all the windows. However as the day closed in reconstruction of the stalls had kicked off as they waited for the next steps.

Posted by: uowd AT 09:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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