UGANDA, Kalangala | Real Muloodi News | Last week, a fire gutted 104 houses at the Lukuba landing site, Kyamuswa Sub-county, Kalangala District. It started at 10.30 a.m and lasted for an hour. The ordeal left more than 300 people homeless.
Most of the fishermen spent the night in the cold after the fire had destroyed their houses.
Abasi Bantambulira, a councillor of the Lukuba landing site, said that the fire could have been caused by a charcoal stove left unattended near the fuel stores.
“We’ve lost close to USh200 million in fuel and 104 houses went up in flames. We are still checking to see whether no one is dead.” Abasi said.
It has also been revealed that there were 140 jerricans of fuel inside two stores where the fire is said to have started.
Kalangala District has no fire fighting brigade, and most of the fires that break out cannot be easily stopped since many people at landing sites sleep in wooden structures/houses.
Nandu Mugoya, a Community Liaison Officer attached to Kalangala Police Station, said they are about to establish the cause of the fire outbreak.
He added, “Our people have lost property worth millions of shillings and many have been left homeless. The fire also destroyed lodges, eating joints and retail shops.”
The home of the Woman Member of Parliament for Kalangala District, Nakimuli Hellen, is just a few meters away from the Lukuba landing site. She said islanders have suffered fire incidents in the past, but the government has not helped victims as it does in other parts of the country when similar incidents occur.
“We have always requested for relief to fire victims in the islands from the Office of the Prime Minister, but we get no response, we hope this time around they are going to intervene,” Ms Nakimuli said.
Kalangala is one of those districts which suffer frequent fire outbreaks since many people who stay on the island store petroleum fuel for their boat engines inside their houses. Those houses which store the petroleum fuel are kitchens at the same time. Therefore, this exposes them to fire outbreaks.
Ten months ago, a fire destroyed hundreds of houses at Nkense island. Another fire burnt down a wooden kiosk at Bugala B Village in Kalangala Town Council, destroying properties worth millions.
On March 19th, a fire flamed up a grass-thatched restaurant at Brovad Sands Lodges in Kalangala Town Council, destroying property worth millions of shillings. Valuable property like furniture, stocked beer, and souvenir shops were all burnt.
Unfortunately, a district such as Kalangala, with 64 islands, does not have a motorised fire engine.
The local leaders of Kalangala recently asked the government to provide them with fire engine boats.
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