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Delayed Delivery Of Vaccines Angers Cattle Keepers

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.
Cattle being sold in one of the markets in Amudat recently

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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 districts.  

//Cue in: “But to our …    

Cue out: ….in the outside world.”//

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 their livestock. 

He urges the central government to procure the vaccines fast enough in order to guarantee the health of livestock.  

//Cue in: “By October….

Coue out: … sell animals.”//

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.