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Property worth billions lost as Fire guts Entebbe Airport Warehouse

DAS warehouse, a ground handling agency embezzled in smoke billows on Wednesday morning as firefighters tried t contain the fire that started on Tuesday evening. PHOTO | DM

Entebbe, (UG): Property worth billions of shillings has been destroyed to ashes following a fire outbreak at DAS warehouse, one of the ground handling agencies at Entebbe International Airport.

The fire that is reported to have started at around 3 pm on Tuesday left the property at the warehouse dazzled up in flames and by Wednesday morning, smoke was still billowing over the warehouse as the firefighters did all they could to put it out.

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) confirmed the incident in a statement issued out on Tuesday shortly after midnight.

“An incident involving a fire outbreak occurred at the DAS Warehouse located in the vicinity of Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday, September 12, 2023,” said UCAA in a statement, adding that a joint team of fire-fighting services was engaging to contain the blazing fire whose exact cause is now a subject of investigation.

However, reports on the ground revealed to this website that key among items destroyed by the fire were mosquito nets imported by the National Medical Stores (NMS) on behalf of the Ministry of Health that were to be distributed to people in the ongoing Malaria Free Campaign.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, the NMS said they are currently assessing the extent of damage caused by the fire, as they work with the relevant authorities to establish the cause.

“We regret to inform the public of a fire incident at one of the private warehouses we had rented for storing mosquito nets in Entebbe. Emergency fire services were promptly notified, and firefighters are working tirelessly to extinguish the fire,” said Ms Sheila Nduhukire, the NMS Public Relations Officer.

Ms Nduhukire added that NMS has already activated its business continuity plan to ensure an uninterrupted supply of mosquito nets to Ugandans.

“The Mosquito nets were comprehensively insured to minimize any unexpected loss. We will continue to provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available,” she stated.

The fire incident comes just a week after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) dispatched a team of officials to carry out an oversight audit of Entebbe International Airport.

The purpose of the audit is to “assess the level of Uganda’s effective implementation of ICAO standards and recommended practices.”

ICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that coordinates the principles and techniques of international air navigation, and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.

The ICAO team met President Museveni at Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo on Wednesday.

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