Traders at the daily Itojo market in Muyenga are facing substantial losses following a fire that destroyed their merchandise on a Saturday night.
This market, located alongside the Ntungamo-Mbarara road near Itojo Hospital, housed numerous shops, including restaurants, charcoal stores, food stores, and general merchandise shops. The fire, which affected at least 20 stalls, reportedly started at 1:00 am due to a charcoal stove left burning by a tenant.
Juliet Tukahairwa, the chairperson of Muyenga Market Itojo, called upon the government and local leaders to come to their aid, as they lost everything and have loans tied to some of the businesses. She also mentioned that the response from the police was delayed by 30 minutes, and their fire truck ran out of water.
Peace Tukahairwa, the Itojo sub-county LCIII chairperson, attributed the fire’s rapid spread to unattended charcoal stoves inside the wooden stalls, despite warnings to the traders.
Denis Muhumuza Savimbi, the Itojo sub-county councilor to Ntungamo District council, expressed sympathy for the losses incurred by the traders and assured them that he would work with them to assess the extent of their losses.
The Ntungamo district police have initiated investigations to determine the cause of the fire. The Muyenga-Itojo market had over 30 traders affected by this incident.