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Owino market razed by fire againPublish Date: Dec 04, 2013
Owino market razed by fire again
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By Carol Kasujja, Simon Masaba, Jeff Lule, Steven Candia and Andrew Ssenyonga

Park- Yard market an extension of St. Balikuddembe market, formerly called Owino, went up in flames for the fourth time Wednesday morning.


The inferno left property worth millions of shillings burnt. The blaze, whose cause has not yet been established, broke out at about 4am.

Police and the army deployed heavily at the scene to keep law and order and also stop thugs from looting the little merchandise saved.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in down town Kampala to keep at bay enraged crowds from the Park Yard market.

Chaotic scenes played out as police swung in action at about 8:00am, finally blocking Ben Kiwanuka street with ripple effects affecting traffic on the ever busy Entebbe Road.

Owino is Kampala's s largest outdoor market with over 500,000 traders. Old Taxi Park closed as police and military battled the stone-throwing crowds. Kikuubo trading area, Ken Kiwanuka Street and Arua Park on Wilson road were closed to the public.

 According to Uganda Red Cross, 8 people were admitted at the National Referral Hospital, Mulago. Five of the admitted were unconscious. They fainted upon reaching the inferno site. Three sustained wounds on heads after being hit by stones.

Uganda Red Cross director for communication, Catherine Ntabadde, said they were at the scene to offer first aid and evacuation services.


 

Park - Yard fires timeline

The Park- Yard Market, established by traders as a secondary market in the car park of neighboring Nakivubo Market, has been a center of trade on second-hand items like textiles, shoes, bags, electronics, and tarpaulins.

February 25, 2009: Hundreds of vendors wept after a monstrous fire gutted their merchandise at the Nakivubo Park Yard, a makeshift market in downtown Kampala.  The market had 3,000 stalls with 25,000 registered traders.

July 30, 2011: Owino Park-Yard market for the second time in a period of about two years was razed down by a fire and the cause was never established.

April 7, 2013: At about mid-night on the morning of Sunday April 7, 2013, fire gutted Owino market destroying property worth millions of shillings.
 
December 04, 2013: The Park Yard market, at St. Balikuddembe formerly called Owino, went up in flames for the fourth time.

PHOTOS: Edward Mulumba

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