Tension is growing among
cattle keepers in Karamoja over government’s delay to deliver vaccines for the Foot
and Mouth Disease, who outbreak was confirmed in three districts in the sub
region, four months ago.
The affected districts are Kotido, Kaabong and Abim,
which are still under quarantine. Parts of Kotido
district have been under quarantine since December, 2018.
Last month, a section
of cattle traders in Kotido illegally attempted to sell livestock at Kanawat
cattle market but they were dispersed by police.
According to the local
people involved in the livestock chain, this is the worst consequence of the
quarantine in several years since cattle and goats are the biggest source of
income for indigenous people.
John Bosco Akore, a resident of Kotido district,
says his child who should have been in senior one is still home because he has
no alternative source of income to raise fees.
He says Ministry of Agriculture,
Animal Industry and Fisheries promised to send vaccines to the district, but to
his dismay nothing has been done.
He appeals to authorities to lift the
quarantine since government has failed to dispatch vaccines to the affected
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The Abim Resident
District Commissioner, Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka, says people have lost hope in
waiting for the vaccines. He says the farmers are anxious about the health of
He urges the central government to procure the vaccines
fast enough in order to guarantee the health of livestock.
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Alex Locham, the Chairperson West Division in Kotido Municipality where the
livestock market is found has decried the delayed delivery of the vaccines,
saying it has negatively affected local revenue collection.
He says livestock
was the biggest revenue earner for the division.
“The market is not
busy at all since the quarantine was placed. We have lost all the revenue. I am
worried we may not be able to open roads in the division if the situation
continues,” said Locham.
Dr. Henry Mulondo, the Kotido District Veterinary Officer, says he has received
assurance from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that the district
will receive 20,000 vaccines by mid-March.
He says the delayed delivery of the vaccines may have exposed more livestock to
the disease but dismissed requests by the local community to lift the
quarantine because of the slow response by government.
Both the Commissioner Animal Health Dr. Anna Rose Ademun and Permanent
Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Pius Wakabi, said the ministry would
deliver vaccines once they procure them.