By Dedan Kimathi and John Odyek
Allan Mayanja (Nakaseke Central, NUP) wants the government to compensate constituents who have lost their cattle to the Foot and Mouth disease (FMD).
This comes on the back of the government’s move to ban animal movement and trade in Nakasongola District until the contagious viral ailment is contained.
Speaking during plenary Thursday, January 25, Mayanja disclosed that whereas FMD has spiralled into his backyard, the government in a knee-jerk manner, responded by cordoning off the trade.
“Seriously speaking, it is affecting Nakaseke, Kinyongoga, Wakyato. According to a report from the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), in just two weeks 285 heads of cattle have shown signs and some of them have died,” he disclosed.
Mayanja further observed that “The Ministry just imposed a quarantine but is not providing vaccines and Mr Speaker, farmers have lost their cattle but what is the Government doing like compensating them. Because the Government has a duty to keep people and their properties. But they are sleeping on their job.”
According to Dr Abed Bwanika (Kimaanya-Kabonera), a trained veterinarian, two things account for recurrent FMD outbreaks in the country.
“Apart from animal control, the provision and availability of efficacious vaccines. National Research Organisation (NARO) which is an organisation for the Government has invested heavily in innovation and is ready to produce vaccines from this country,” Bwanika
“They need funds. I want to request that when the Minister is coming to Parliament, he should appraise Parliament on how far NARO has reached in ensuring that they produce vaccines in Uganda,” he added.
Fast forward, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa deferred the matter to Thursday next, week.
“Clerk when you are extracting the information for the minister (Frank Tumwebaze) please include that. I would say that for FMD, let’s just look at this on Thursday. I will give you enough time to discuss this issue,” he ruled.
Letter to IGP
Earlier on in his opening remarks, Tayebwa had hinted at this subject matter.
“I have received very many calls with regard to Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in the country. Especially after the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture wrote a letter that many farmers sent to me. He wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police requesting him to enforce quarantine in 32 districts of Uganda,” he disclosed.
Consequently, Tayebwa pointed out that cattle keepers especially in the cattle corridor are exasperated.
“People would want to know when this ends because this issue has been on for a long time and it is cutting across Northern, Eastern Uganda, Central, Western. Very many areas are affected. These farmers whose livelihood depend on these animals really need to be appraised,” he summed.