Furniture dealers in the industrial area zone of Bwaise in Kawempe Division are counting losses following a fire outbreak early this morning.
The fire that started around 4:00 am razed more than 150 timber workshops, leaving property worth millions of shillings destroyed. Affected traders say by the time police arrived, there was little to be saved.
Eddie Ryazika Senge, the Defence secretary of industrial area, also a timber trader said the damage was huge because most traders were yet to report for work and the police fire fighting team also arrived late.
When Uganda Radio Network reached the site early this morning, the Police fire fighting team from Kawempe Police station had extinguished the fire. Eddie Ryazika Senge said he suspects illegal electricity connections could have been the root cause of this fire.
The doors, beds, timbers and machines in stock all have been reduced to ashes. Ryazika says some of the timber belonged to customers who had brought it to his workshop for designing.
Yahaya Mutamba who has been trading in timber for over 20 years says he left his business intact at around 9:00 pm on Friday, but only to receive a phone call from one of his workmates informed him of the fire that destroyed two of his workshops. He estimates his total loss to be over 3 million shillings.
Among the affected traders is Mande Musinguzi who abandoned teaching at Upper secondary school Nsambya, to venture in carpentry as a result of COVID-19 when schools closed. He said his family of five people has been solely depending on the workshop.
Musinguzi calls for police intervention of stationing at least one fire fighting vehicle in prone fire areas in Kampala including industrial area Bwaise.
Other affected traders led by Aisha Nagawa say through the media the vendors have appealed to the central government to come to their rescue.
Over 300 traders are estimated to be operating in the Bwaise Industrial Area.
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