Ntoroko District has imposed a two-week quarantine following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease- FMD. The most affected areas are Butungama, Bweramule, Rwebisengo,
Karugutu and Lake Semuliki.
According to the guidelines, the movement of livestock and
livestock products into and out of Ntoroko district to other
districts is banned.
District leaders note that the outbreak is attributed to Congolese
and refugees who have crossed into the district with their infected animals
and local pastoralists who have been grazing from Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
Eddy Kabugho, District Vice Chairperson says that the ban is meant
to contain further spread of the disease as they await assistance from the
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.
//Cue in: “We had the asylum seekers…
Cue out: ….in Kampala.”//
The outbreak of FMD and the imposing of quarantine is a big
challenge to cattle keepers in the district.
Ntoroko is a predominantly cattle keeping district with cattle
keepers comprising 80 percent of the population. Cattle are also a symbol of
status to some families.
Dr Patrick Bagonza Businge, the Principal Production Officer
Ntoroko District says pastoralists enter the district at night. He says that
they cannot create a withholding ground to screen the animals coming from
neighbouring districts and DRC.
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Stephen Asaba, the chairperson Bweramule Sub County welcomes the
quarantine, he requests the government to send vaccines to the district as soon
as possible. He says the ban on cattle business could hurt the livelihoods
of families that depend on the animals.
"Our people here sell their animals so that they can get
money to buy food, now those transactions have been put on hold." Asaba
raised the concern.
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Cue out: …omwanya hokuzita.”//
Friday Swizin, a farmer in Bweramule says he has separated five of his cows
after developing FMD signs. He appeals for mass vaccination to help farmers who
are financially constrained due to the lockdown.
FMD is a viral disease of cloven-hoofed livestock and wildlife,
including cattle, goats, swine, sheep and buffalos. It has occurred several
times in Uganda since 1953 when it was first confirmed.
It is characterized by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue
and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves.
In the early stage, the disease manifests itself among cows through a temperature
rise and the animal becomes dull and less productive.