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Nakasongola Pastoralists Breath Sigh of Relief As Rains Start :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Nakasongola Pastoralists Breath Sigh of Relief As Rains Start

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Charles Bogere, the Nakasongola Town Council LC 5 councilor, says they received heavy rains on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning drawing excitement from pastoralists.
Heads of cattle struggling to drink water from reservoirs at Wabbale Valley dam located in Nakasongola town

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There is a sigh of relief among pastoralists in Nakasongola district following the onset of rains. 

Hundreds of cows have died in Nakasongola district due to lack of water and pasture because of the long dry spell.    

The water dams used to water the animals dried up in August 2018 leaving pastoralists crying foul. 

The dry spell forced pastoralists to drive their animals to Lake Kyoga and River Kafu for watering but many of them would collapse and die on the way.

As a result, pastoralists started selling off their cows for as low as Shillings 50,000 forcing beef prices to drop to Shillings 1000 a Kilogram. 

However, the situation has improved because of early rains in the district.

Some of areas that received the rains include Nabiswera, Lwabyata, Wabinyonyi, Kakooge Sub Counties and Nakasongola town council.  

Charles Bogere, the Nakasongola Town Council LC 5 councilor, says they received heavy rains on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning drawing excitement from pastoralists.

According to Bogere, the downpour will facilitate the growth of pasture and fill up the dams. 

He says the rains also help contain the spread of the Foot and Mouth Disease since their animals will be confined in one place.

  

Samuel Mugerwa, a pastoralist at Wabinyonyi Sub County, says he had lost five head of cattle by the time the rains started. 

He says the onset of the rains will save more animals from dying.    

Sam Tingira, the Nakasongola District Production Secretary, says the rains are timely. 

He however, advises the pastoralists to keep manageable numbers of animals to avoid a repeat of the losses they have suffered during the drought period.  

Tingira explains that overstocking is still a problem in the district because pastoralists are yet to embrace modern livestock farming practices. 

He says despite the onset of the rains, the cows might take some weeks to recover because even weather changes affect their living standards.   

There are over 264,000 head of cattle in Nakasongola.

However, around 500 of them are always lost during the dry spell each year, according to district veterinary office estimates. 

Nelson Muruuli, a resident of Ttumba village, says the onset of the rains has come with heavy winds. 

He says the heavy blew off the rooftop of some houses leaving some people in the cold.  

Dr. Sam Eswaggu, the Nakasongola District Veterinary Officer couldn't be reached for comment. 

He had earlier on advised pastoralists to move their herds of near the Lake if the drought persists.

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