Fire has destroyed an estimated 200 hectares of sugarcane under Atiak Sugar Factory, which belongs to Horial Investments Company Limited in Amuru District.
The fire believed to have been set by unknown people was first reported to the local authorities on Friday 10th. It escalated until Sunday evening when the Police Fire and Rescue Service team rushed to help put it out.
David Mudong Ongom, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson told URN in an interview that the fire also destroyed 14 huts belonging to UPDF soldiers guarding the factory.
According to Mudong, the management of the sugar factory got the information about the incident but delayed to notify the police in time. He says that when police firefighters arrived at the scene, they could not penetrate the plantation due to a lack of fire lines.
By the time of publishing, this story firefighters were still in the process of securing the scene. Mudong says that they have opened inquiries under SD ref: 15/12/12/2021 at Atiak Police Station to establish the cause of the fire and the perpetrators.
Atiak Sugar Factory is located 17kms north of Atiak –off the Gulu –Nimule Road in Gem Village, Pachilo Parish, Atiak Sub –County in Amuru District. The factory has the capacity to crush 1,650 tons of raw sugarcane daily, producing 66,000 tons of sugar annually.
Since its establishment, Atiak Sugar Factory has suffered a number of fire outbreaks.
The 2020 Police Annual Crime Report indicates that the factory incurred a loss worth 3billion Shillings due to the fire outbreaks in 2019.
Mahmood Abdi, the Director of Agriculture, and Plantation at Atiak Sugar Factory declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Uganda Radio Network.