Fire leaves 5,000 people without shelter in northern Uganda

from Xinhua
Published on 31 Dec 2005
KAMPALA, Dec 31, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Fire has burnt over 200 huts, leaving about 5,000 people without shelter in Aromo internally displaced persons' (IDP) camp near Lira town in northern Uganda, reported local press on Saturday.

Camp commandant David Elic said the fire broke out on Wednesday and property worth over 10 million shillings (about 6,000 US dollars) was destroyed, including foodstuffs distributed by the World Food Program.

Elic said one businessman, Richard Ojok, lost eight bags of sesame, eight bags of salt, two cartons of biscuits and eight cartons of soap.

The camp has a population of about 42,240 displaced persons.

This was the second fire outbreak in the camp this month. 64 huts in the same camp were burnt down, leaving over 140 people without shelter and food earlier this month.

Elic appealed for immediate humanitarian assistance from the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness to assist the victims with food and tents, saying that the victims resorted to sleeping under trees.

Over 1.4 million people have been displaced by the Lord's Resistance Army rebels in their 19-year rebellion in northern Uganda. The current drought season is a threat to crowded huts constructed in the displaced persons' camps.