February 2, 2015

Kalangala Fire Guts 21 Houses, Leaves 120 Homeless

More than 120 people living at Lutoboka landing site in Kalangala district are currently homeless after a  fire gutted 21 houses.

Residents pick around their burnt belongings in Kalangala
Residents pick around their burnt belongings in Kalangala

Property worth millions of shillings including household items such as furniture, clothes, beddings, plus fishing nets and tons of dry fish has been destroyed.

Residents claim the fire started in the wee hours of Thursday night at around 1:00AM and took them over four hours to stop from spreading to other houses.

However, Kasavu Modified Silver Fish factory and Lutoboka Nursery School which were surrounded by the blazing structures survived the fire.

This is the second fire at Lutoboka landing site in two years. A 2014 fire is said to have started from an unattended  lit charcoal stove that was left in a wooden makeshift.

Michael Owenyi, a crime preventer, says that they were forced to cut down some banana plantations to slow the advance of the fire.

Moses Ssekatawa, a resident, says his house was only saved because the fire was put out before it reached his residence.

Michael Okwalinga, the Chairperson of Lutoboka landing site, says no one died in the fire, but its cause is not yet determined.
He says the wooden structures made it easy for the fire to spread rapidly.

A team of district officials and NGOs visited the landing site shortly after the incident to assess the level of damage.

Kalangala Resident District Commissioner Caleb Tukaikiriza has urged residents to desist from leaving lit candles and charcoal stoves in their houses to avoid similar incidents.

Ibrahim Ssenyonga, the Red Cross Branch Manager for Kalangala District says that there have been 34 recorded fires on different landing sites in three years and property worth billions of shillings lost.

He adds that no official report has come out on the fires yet police has conducted several investigations .
However, the team estimates over 150 people were affected and they are soliciting for some relief items from the district, good Samaritans and the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness.

According to Ssenyonga, that relief items in form of food, tents, blankets, jerry cans, source pans and mosquito nets are urgently needed for the wellbeing of the victims

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