Fort Portal leaders ask traders who lost their businesses to fire to form a SACCO

FORT PORTAL – The Fort Portal Woman Member of Parliament, Hon. Irene Linda Mugisa has asked traders who lost their businesses to fire last week to form a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) to help them mobilize funds.

Hon. Linda said once they organise themselves in a SACCO, it will be easy for those who want to support them channel the money direct to their SACCO not to individuals.

“As leaders, we are ready to support you, we just want you to be organised. We are aware that most of you have loans to pay but we are ready to help you get start-up capital once you are organised,” she said.

Hon. Linda said, she reported to the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness about the incident and he requested for a report to help her follow up and see how they can help those who lost their businesses.

She noted that together with her colleague Hon. Alex Ruhunda, the MP Central division, Fort Portal City, they will follow up to ensure these people are given help.

The State Minister for Luwero Triangle, Hon. Alice Kaboyo pledged Shs 20m which they will receive after forming a SACCO.

Hon. Kaboyo promised through the Office of the Prime Minister to check with the banks where these traders have loans so that they can negotiate how they can be given a grace period as they try to sort out themselves.

Hon. Kaboyo paid a courtesy visit to the fire victims while in Fort Portal for her other official duties.

She appealed to traders and leaders in Fort Portal City to be vigilant and revise ways of ensuring they have good structures equipped with fire protective equipment.

“Fort Portal is now a city and this fire has been an eye opener to leaders and everyone. You need to prepare because anything can happen at any time. So, you need to look at ways of preventing such incidents in future,” she said.


On Friday, fire gutted timber stores, furniture and spare hubs in Fort Portal City leaving traders and landlords in losses worth millions of shillings.

Four landlords and 66 tenants lost their businesses and are now stranded. Most of these have loans in some banks, SACCOS and other financial institutions.

According to the Rwenzori West Regional Police Commander, SSP Norman Musinga, according to their investigations, fire came from one of the kiosks where the owner could have used a motor and left it hot and there could have been sparks of electricity hence the fire outbreak.

“Most of the things like metals used by these people can be the source of fire. For example, a motor, once in use and there happens to be sparks ignites, fire starts immediately,” Musinga noted.

He said, it was not easy to stop the fire because the place was very congested and the fire brigade vehicle couldn’t easily find a way through.

Musinga apologised for the poor condition of the fire brigade vehicles which had mechanical problems and could not reach in time but they tried their best to do what they could.

“I need to put this clear to you that our fire brigade vehicles are not in good condition and it’s not only here in Fort Portal but in the country but we are doing our best,” he added.

He advised that if traders are to return to the burnt place, there should be a plan of decongesting the area or else there will be another fire outbreak in the near future.

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