Property worth millions of shillings were destroyed in a fire which gutted part of Buwenge Central Market in Jinja.
Daily Monitor has learnt that affected traders cried helplessly as they watched the fire spread from one kiosk to another destroying all their merchandise.
The chairperson of the market, Mr Peter Kamwami, said the fire which started in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, was seen by security guards in the area.
Mr Kamwami said by the time the fire brigade from Jinja town arrived at the scene, which is 34km away, residents had already extinguished the fire.
He also said the most affected departments include retail shops, clothes, meat, and the fish department.
Ms Magrete Nabirye, one of the affected traders, dealing in new clothes, said all her merchandise was burnt and she now doesn’t have where to begin from.
“I’m the bread winner of the family, I have six children who need school fees, I had just got a loan of Shs500,000 but now I have been left with nothing,” she said.
Ms Sophie Nasinda, a retail shop owner said her business is now no more because everything has been burnt to ash.
“My husband abandoned me and my three children, I have been depending on this business to provide them with school fees and basic needs. I appeal to well-wishers to come to rescue me from this situation with startup capital,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Buwenge Town Council Acting town clerk Mr Paul Baliraine said the affected traders who had arrears with the market will not pay the dues in order to save some money to begin afresh.
What caused the fire outbreak in the market was not immediately known, but the Buwenge Divison Police Commander, Mr Elatu Ojokuna said they suspect the fire to have started because of a charcoal stove which was left burning or electricity.
He said nobody was injured in the fire but an investigation is ongoing.