UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Mr. Ernesto Ottone R., joined the Buganda Kingdom and local communities in mourning the serious destruction of one of the sacred houses (Abalongo) at the Tombs of Buganda Kings of Kasubi, following a devastating fire which took place on 5 June, in Uganda, a property inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000.

"We are in contact with the authorities, at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, who currently carrying out an initial assessment of the damage caused by the fire," said Mr. Ottone R.  "We hope that, despite the constraints also imposed in Uganda by the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be possible to intervene first to analyze with precision the situation and what is needed,  and then to consider solutions in line with the Outstanding Universal Value of the site.”

Following the devastating fire in 2010, which destroyed the site, putting it on the World Heritage list in Danger, UNESCO received a generous contribution from the Government of Japan to support a project entitled “Technical and financial assistance for the reconstruction of Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, architectural masterpiece of the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, Uganda, World Heritage property in Danger”. This project was designed to offer Emergency Assistance to Uganda and accompany them in rehabilitating the property in view of its removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The site is a major spiritual centre for the Baganda where traditional and cultural practices have been preserved. It represents a place where communication links with the spiritual world are maintained.