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Fire guts Nakivubo Park Yard Market

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A child searches for valuables in a water channel near the burnt Nakivubo Park Yard Market.

A child searches for valuables in a water channel near the burnt Nakivubo Park Yard Market. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa. 

By FARAHANI MUKISA & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA

Posted  Wednesday, December 4  2013 at  07:59
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A devastating fire Wednesday morning gutted Nakivubo Park Yard Market destroying traders’ merchandise worth millions of shillings.

The mysterious fire which started around 4am razed wooden stalls and shops, stretching from Nakivubo Park yard that shares a wall fence with Nakivubo Stadium. A number of traders fainted on visiting the scene which by 7am was still on fire.

Many others could only look on as tears streamed down their faces. Some traders tried to push their way into the market to save what could have remained of their merchandise but police shot in the air and used tear gas to disperse traders in what was seen a measure to save lives.

Over 20,000 traders operate in the market. They mainly sell used merchandise like clothes, shoes, bags among other items. The latest fire comes barely 8 months after the market was gutted down by another inferno.

Most of the traders dealing in second hand clothes and shoes among other merchandise had their goods burnt beyond recognition and most of the inner shops collapsed as a result of uncontainable fire that stretched as far as St Balikuddembe Shrine connecting to Kisenyi, a city suburb.

Like it was in the past infernos at the market , the police fire engines arrived late .

The police Fire Brigade headquarters is located less than a kilometre from the market.

Police Fire chief Joseph Mugisha said although the real cause of the latest fire is not yet established , failure by traders to put in place the necessary fire precautions is partly to blame.

A section of the market being consumed by the fire. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa.
A section of the market being consumed by the fire. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa.

A vendor watches as the fire rages. Abubaker Lubowa.
A vendor watches as the fire rages. Abubaker Lubowa.

“ The traders have failed to learn from their past mistakes and basing on what we see, the causes of this latest fire are not different from those in the past . We had advised them to create reasonable space within the market for easy accessibility in case of fire but all that was ignored ,” he said.

Park Yard market was last gutted by fire on July 31 ,2011.

After the first fire razed the market in 2009, the government set up an investigation committee, whose findings, however, have never been made public.

Military Police at the market to stop some people who wanted to steal property.
Military Police at the market to stop some people who wanted to steal property. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

Military Police at the market to stop some people who wanted to steal property.
Military Police at the market to stop some people who wanted to steal property. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

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