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Drought Kills 150 Animals In Buliisa

More than 150 cows have died in Buliisa district since the beginning of March, because of the long dry spell that has affected grazing pasture and water points. The worst hit sub counties are Ngwedo and Kigwera.

 

Kigwera sub county LC3 Chairman Kaliisa Bamuturaki, says herdsmen have been forced to move to the banks of River Nile in search for pasture and water.

 

Bamuturaki explains that several animals have died because of fatigue and thirst because of the long distances moved.

The  situation has been aggravated by the irregular rains received in the area.

 

Bamuturaki wants Government and Non Governmental Organizations to construct valley dams to  help herdsmen during such dry spells. He says although the sub county had projected about 10 valley dams to solve the problem, the lower local government cannot easily raise the required finances.

 

Augustine Bitadwa, a resident of Kiyera village in Kigwera Sub County is one of the many cattle keepers affected by the current drought. Bitadwa told Uganda Radio Network that he lost five cows in only last week because of the drought. Most of the  dead animals were calfs and heifers that could not withstand the  long distances for grazing and watering. Bitadwa is now left with only 45.

 

He is worried that more others may die if the dry season continues and this he says affects his livelihood.

 

Another Victim Pantaleo Kato has lost about 50 of the 600 animals he keeps in Kigwera.

 

Kato says most of the animals collapsed along the way to the grazing areas. The cattle keeper says he is now grazing his animals near R. Nile, about 6 miles away from his home.

 

Meanwhile, animal carcasses are seen by the roadside in Kiyera village and a stench from the rotten covers the air.

 

Rashid Mubiru, the Buliisa district veterinary officer acknowledges the problem, but quickly attributes it to the rampant bush burning.

 

He says, residents burnt bushes with the hope that fresh pastures would grow after the rains,  but instead got a long dry spell.

 

Mubiru says little his office can do at the moment other than advising the cattle keepers to import grass for their animals from the neighboring areas that are not yet affected.

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