Shs. 1billion Lost as Fire Guts Rubirizi Game Park Lodge

Kyambura Game Lodge was burnt down by a fire that came from Queen Elizabeth National Park

Fire yesterday gutted Kyambura Game Lodge in Kichwamba Sub County in Rubirizi District.

The fire is said to have come from the nearby Queen Elizabeth National park before spreading to the cottages.

Officials say the fire spread fast to the lodge because of the wind and the dry grasses of the park.

Flames razed down four cottages of the lodge

Flames razed down 8 cottages of the lodge

According to the Lodge’s front manager Anna Kabahinda, information pills the fire started around mid night yesterday.

Anna said that this is the second time the park lodge has been affected by the fire from Queen Elizabeth without receiving any compensation from Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The manager said fire destroyed eight cottages with 6 mattresses, troche cushions, wooden cultural art crafts, beds, 4 gas heaters, a bar, restaurant, the laundry, the reception and the kitchen.

“People tried to help put it out using water from the pool and all the water sources but without success; we tried our level best but because it was too windy we stood no chance,” she added.

“We left the burning fire and started shifting things to the laundry, only for the fire to find them there.”

Anna told Chimpreports that the game park authorities usually burn the vegetation twice a year to allow re-growth of fresh pasture for the animals and that the same lodge was burnt in 2012 and it lost property worth 900 million Shillings.

However she said that this time the hotel had drastically improved and they must have lost much more property than last time.

“So I can even say that we lost more than a billion shillings, she said.

Lodge manager Anna Kabahinda speaking to Chimpreports.

Lodge manager Anna Kabahinda speaking to Chimpreports.

The owner of the lodge Mr. Robert Byakutaga came in the night to witness what  happened and was devastated.

The manager said by the time the fire erupted there were 2 clients from Germany but they were evacuated unharmed with their property.

However, Anna was disappointed with Rubirizi police who were alerted about the incident but only arrived in the morning to see what was destroyed.

“No police officer or ranger  came; after trying to rescue some of the things we went to police later in the night, we reported the case, recorded statements but no one came at that point; they only came in the morning to see what took place” Anna said

The manager said they need compensation from UWA.

“I would not say that someone out of the blue started burning; it is automatic that UWA did this the 2nd time and they have never done anything about it” Ms. Anna said

Queen Elizabeth national park according to Kabahinda, is burnt during the dry seasons to allow growth of new vegetation

Queen Elizabeth national park according to Kabahinda, is burnt during the dry seasons to allow growth of new vegetation

She asked the government to inform the UWA authorities to alert the public if they are to burn next time.

The OC station Rubirizi John Lukooto said the fire must have been wild and not deliberated.

If started by UWA, he said it would have been monitored by fire attendants.


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