By John Unzima
Adjumani- Fire has razed down Awindiri Market in Adjumani town burning properties worth about Shs 15 million.
Many of the traders who sell food items, have been left pondering next move as some of them had borrowed loans from various banking institutions and Sacco groups to boost their businesses.
According early investigations by the police, the fire could have been started in the wee hours of Tuesday morning from a charcoal stove left by a food vendor.
Police and local volunteers rushed to the scene upon being notified but were reduced only to watching as they arrived when the fire had already got out of hand and they had no fire firefighting equipment.
Adjumani District Police Commander Motoka Kawa said they failed to fight the fire due lack of necessary firefighting equipment but they arrived at scene in time.
“We are already in the process of placing request for firefighting equipment,” DPC Motoka said.
The DPC also urged the residents to be vigilant as the fire could have been caused by actions of unscrupulous people.
“It may be accident today, but tomorrow it may not be an accident so watch out,” Motoka said.
Adjumani district secretary for production Ochaya Iti said local volunteers and Police have failed to put off the fire due unregulated mushrooming makeshift structures.
Grace Masudio one of the food vendors said she has lost properties and food item worth Sh 1.5 million in the fire including personal effects.
“I pay my children with the proceeds I get from this business; I don’t know where to start for now,” Masudio said
The police station does not have firefighting equipment and even the nearby offices or homes do not have fire extinguishers. Putting off the fire was also made difficult with the strong wind blowing.
Adjumani Town Council LC3 chairman Patrick Tandrupasi said they have registered over 10 vendors who have lost properties.
“We hope to talk to the relevant authorities to see how they can be helped,” Tandrupasi said.
Awindiri market in Adjumani town council is started by the community and is famed for dealing in fast food and house hold items.
This is the second fire incidence in less than four days in Adjumani town as unknown arsonist on Saturday night set ablaze the house of LC1 chairman Forua village while he and two others were asleep burning them as a result.
The L C 1 and the two others are still nursing the burns in Adjumani hospital authorities have convened a meeting for Sunday this week to discuss the fire incidence.