Uganda — Abim Residents of Koya Village, Alerek Parish, Abim Sub-county in Abim District last week struggled to control a fast-moving wildfire that consumed several kilometres of the drought-stricken area.
The wildfire that started at around 2pm with the aid of strong winds, killed two people and left three others with serious injuries.
The regional police commander north Karamoja, Mr Fabian Amadia, confirmed the incident and described it as very unfortunate. He identified the dead as Palpino Ongom, 60, and Lousi Adwong, 40, while the injured were Rifle Aloka, John Odeke and one unidentified woman whom he said are admitted to Abim Hospital. “The victims were caught by the fire as they took shelter in their houses in the hot afternoon,” he said
Cause of fire
Mr Amadia added that the wildfire also destroyed several homesteads and granaries.
He suspected the fire could have been set by the people who are hunting rats in the area.
“We have very many people now who are hunting rats and other animals in the area and they are burning bushes in every corner,” the regional police boss said.
Mr Amadia added that the police have arrested two suspects to help police investigate the cause of the fire. The district chairperson, Mr Naman Ocero, appealed to residents to stop burning bushes in a bid to catch rats.
Two weeks ago, the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Godfrey Aluma, warned that continued bush burning could tantamount to effects like houses catching fire. Bush burning in Karamoja is done by locals to usher in fresh bushes.