By: Busiinge Aggrey
Kakumiro District: In a devastating incident that left the residents of Mwitanzige Town in Kakumiro District in shock, timber workshop was reduced to ashes in a fire that broke out, leading to the loss of property estimated to be worth UGX 70 million.
The Standard learnt that the catastrophe took place at around 8:20 pm when the power supply, which had been erratic throughout the day, flickered back on with an unexpected surge, leading to a short circuit in the one ill-fated timber workshop.
Tragically, one other nearby timber and welding workshop was also ravaged by the inferno, resulting in significant losses for the owners.
Among the destroyed items were two motorcycles which were kept inside the workshop, cases, welding plants, generators, wooden furniture and various valuable items, all consumed by the relentless fire.
Eyewitnesses, as well as residents accuse police of coming late at the scene to curb flaming. This delay raised public concern, especially considering the proximity of the police station to the incident.
Local Leaders React
Ssendegeya Ismael, a district councillor, expressed his concerns about the state of electricity in the region.
He says residents had been grappling with electricity issues for weeks, citing a recent incident where a building was gutted but prompt response minimized the damage.
Ismael further attributed the cause of the fire to the poor wiring of the electricity supply by the technical team from the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL)
Jonathan Niwasasire the Sub-county Internal Security Officer pointed fingers at illegal electricity connections as a potential cause of the fires. He urged a thorough revision of the construction planning in the town to prevent such incidents in the future.
He shed light on the possible cause of the fire, attributing it to illegal electricity connections and emphasized the need for a revision of the town’s construction planning to prevent such incidents in the future.
Local leaders are urging businesses, especially those dealing in highly flammable materials like timber and petrol, to prioritize safety measures.
He advised the business community to invest in fire extinguishers to mitigate the risk of similar uncertainties in the future.
Attempts to seek comments from the electricity supplier, UEDCL and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Mwitanzige proved futile as calls went unanswered
The entire community is now left to grapple with the aftermath of the fire, mourning not only the loss of property but also questioning the state of essential services and emergency response in the region.
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