Traders Count Losses as Kiosks Catch Fire at Border with DRC

1925 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
A night-time fire at Mpondwe border post in Mpondwe-Lubiriha town council, Kasese district, has destroyed 12 timber-made kiosks.

A night-time fire at Mpondwe border post in Mpondwe-Lubiriha town council, Kasese district, has destroyed 12 timber-made kiosks.
 
The kiosks were located just outside the new market at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Police reports that the fire started at 10pm.
 
The Officer in Charge of the Mpondwe police station Mr. Baker Kawonawo says the fire was so intense that by the time they managed to put it out, no property could be saved.
 
Kawonawo says the fire is likely to have started from a neglected charcoal stove in one of the kiosks which was not properly extinguished.
 
One of the traders who lost their goods in the kiosks Ms. Joanita Biira says her shop had a stock worth 3 million shillings.
 
Other businesses that were destroyed by fire according to police are food stores, packed waragi stores, timber stores among others.
 
Mr. Kawonawo says that a Congolese woman suspected to have left the charcoal stove lit at night is on the run.
 
The woman had reportedly been warned several times to stop the habit of leaving her stove lit through the night but persisted. She used to explain that her beans could only be properly cooked if she left them on the fire for many hours.
 
Police informed the traders that they are free to carry on with their businesses because the fire occurred outside the market.
 
Cross border trade in the market is at its busiest on Tuesdays and Friday.