Gisozi: Gutted Agakiriro workshop to get Rwf200m facelift

The carpentry section of a business centre known as Gakiriro in Gisozi sector, Gasabo District, is set to get a major facelift months after it was razed by back-to-back fires.

The most recent inferno gutted the market last year on June 29, destroying property and merchandise valued in billions.

The fire destroyed a lot of merchandise and materials that were valued at over Rwf2 billion and this included merchandise from nearby hardware stores valued at Rwf1.5bn.

The building that was burnt is one of the three complexes that make up the Gakiriro centre with each complex owned by a cooperative.

The particular bloc that was affected by the fires belongs to APARWA (Association pour la promotion des artisan aux Rwanda) whose leaders confirmed to Saturday Times that carpentry workshops were completed burnt.

The carpentry machines destroyed valued at Frw135,660,000.

Causes of the fire

In an interview with Saturday Times, Providence Musesanguhe, the Executive Secretary of Gisozi sector, said that the fire was a result of poor electrical installation, overcrowding and poor sanitation.

“After the incident, investigations revealed that it was due to a large number of people working from a small area with poor electrical installation,” she said, adding that they decided to temporarily close the carpentry section and try to find a sustainable solution.

After the incident, the cooperative members say several bodies have done their best to get the carpentry workshop, which employs thousands, back into operation.

“We took a loan from BPR and we hope to be given the money as soon as possible and then carry on with the construction activities,” says Eugène Niyonshuti, the president of APARWA.

He said that they have designed a new facility that will be built in such a way that it is cushioned against fires.

The new project according to the APARWA leaders, has a budget of Frw185m and it will be completed by the end of March if they get the funding on time.

The executive secretary of Gisozi sector said that they worked with city authorities to come up with a new plan for the carpentry that will not be susceptible to fires or other disasters.

“The city then made a safe master plan for the market and gave it to them two months ago. Hence the construction activities are commencing as soon as possible and the works should not take more than three months,” she said.

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