Mbarara City Timber Traders Seek Gov’t Assistance

Timber traders whose property was destroyed by fire in Mbarara City say they lost more than one billion shillings.

The fire that broke out on Friday on Major Victor Bwana Road, destroyed timber and timber products.

After the incident, Robert Kanusu, the Deputy Mbarara Resident City Commissioner set up a committee to among others register all the affected people and their lost property, and identify the cause of the fire as they await police investigations.

On Wednesday, the committee chaired by Silagi Magala Abbas handed over the report to Kanusu.

Silagi Magala Abbas the Chairperson of the affected traders says 176 people were affected by the fire. He says among the property that was lost in the fire included timber stocks, finished and unfinished furniture, chair frames, workshops, wood machinery, timber stores, electricity lines, wiring systems, and an electric pole.

He said that the loss amounts to sh1.2 bllion.

In the report, Silagi also faults the Police Fire Brigade for arriving at the scene late.

The traders now want the government to compensate them and also request financial institutions and money lenders to pardon traders who had acquired loans.

Robert Kanusu, the Deputy Mbarara Resident City Commissioner said that they are waiting for the police report on the cause of the fire.

James Tugume, one of the affected timber dealers, says that he lost more than 200 million Shillings.   Tugume said that the authorities should lobby for support from the government.

On October 25, 2021, one person died and several timber stores were also destroyed by fire along Akiki Nyabongo road, near the Bus Park in Mbarara City.

City authorities led by Mayor Robert Kakyebezi promised to relocate to a new place out of the city center all timber dealers but in vain.

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