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Sembabule Struggles to Enforce Quarantine :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Sembabule Struggles to Enforce Quarantine

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During the meeting, Rwamirama instructed the total enforcement of the quarantine for two weeks to allow for a comprehensive vaccination exercise against the FMD in the area, after which an assessment would be conducted for possible opening of all livestock markets.
Cattle in Kigwera village Kigwera Sub county Buliisa district.

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Efforts to eliminate the Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD in Sembabule district could fail due to the complicated enforcement of the cattle quarantine. The Animal Husbandry Ministry imposed quarantine on the district following the reported cases of the FMD.

However, the enforcement led to altercation between the local leaders and security leaders, who accused security officials of partially enforcing the quarantine.  The altercation led to the arrest and prosecution of the Lwemiyiga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo for allegedly violating the quarantine when he led cattle farmers to reopen cattle markets. 

This prompted the State Minister in Charge of Animal Industry, Bright Rwamirama to convene a meeting on January 16th, 2020 to settle the misunderstanding. During the meeting, Rwamirama instructed the total enforcement of the quarantine for two weeks to allow for a comprehensive vaccination exercise against the FMD in the area, after which an assessment would be conducted for possible opening of all livestock markets. 

Despite the Minister’s directive, animals and their products are still finding their way to the market within and outside Sembabule district.  Jolly Kasande, the Mijwala Sub County Female LC V Councilor confirms the violation of the quarantine, saying this is largely done by a few bigwigs in the area. She says they are afraid that the nonconformity to the quarantine restriction may escalate the spread of the virus in the area to the detriment of the residents.

//Cue in: (Luganda) “essawa ya leero….      

Cue out; …bitusobera.”// 

 

She suggests that the current situation requires the direct intervention of the president to deploy a special team that will help them overcome the challenge of the FMD in the area. 

//Cue in: (Luganda) “mulimu ba leaders….     

Cue out; ….yali yawona.”//    

Phoebe Keishanyu Magondo, the Speaker Sembabule District Council, says the situation can only be addressed through a mass vaccination exercise. She says apparently all their hope is vested in the promise by the Ministry of Animal Industry to rollout out a mass vaccination exercise in the area.

//Cue in: (Luganda) “tuyina essuubi limu….  

Cue out; ….bisanyaladdemu.”//   

Dr. Emmanuel Kalungi Kawooya, the Sembabule District Production Officer has bemoaned the defiance of the quarantine, saying they had asked all community members to collectively support its enforcement for the general good of the entire district. 

Denis Musinguzi, the Sembabule District Police Commander declined to comment about their shortfalls in enforcement of the restrictions.