It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything for Global Voices, but this week’s fire at Owino Market prompted enough of a blogger response (and I’ve been sufficiently inspired by my week in Miami with ten other GV-ers) that I had to post a round-up:
A massive fire gutted Kampala’s Owino Market early Wednesday morning, seriously injuring five people and destroying thousands of stalls. As many as 25,000 traders, mostly women, are estimated to have suffered losses.
Owino, also known as the Nakivubo Park Yard and St. Balikuddembe Market, is Kampala’s largest market and has been at the center of several controversies involving leasing rights. Recent plans to build a new bus terminal at the Nakivubo Stadium next door have sparked anger among vendors, who will lose their space if the development proceeds as planned.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor is reporting that the fire started at a hole in the wall separating the market from the stadium, and many victims are accusing the bus company that wants to build the terminal of arson. Some bloggers agree.