The unhygienic state of the Busia municipal council abattoir is worrying residents over the safety of meat slaughtered at the facility.
The abattoir is grappling with on-and-off running water from the tap, which sometimes goes dry for weeks.
Jimmy Kwoba, the facility’s chairperson, said lack of water sometimes makes it difficult to thoroughly clean the abattoir.
He said efforts to convince Busia municipal council authorities to sink a shadoof at the abattoir to provide the facility with a steady water supply for cleaning have not yet yielded results.
Charles Ndeke, the tenderer of the abattoir, said they spend sh700,000 monthly on the water bills.
Residents who live near the abattoir in Solo ‘A’ village, western division, said it produces a foul smell.
John Okello, a resident, expressed fears over the possible contamination of the meat due to the unhygienic conditions.
Moses Okurut, the municipal’s principal public health officer, said his office would test the meat for pathogens. But he said there is pollution of the nearby Sole stream, where the effluent from the abattoir is emptied.
A technical staff who wished not to be named, said the construction of the abattoir did not meet the required standard, despite a team visiting Kenya County abattoir in 2008, to learn how it was constructed.
“Everything, ranging from the rails on which the slaughtered animals are placed for skinning, to the ponds and the drainage system, was poorly done,” the official said.
The official recommended that the facility be renovated and modified to meet the specifications of the modern abattoir.
To ensure the safety of the meat consumed in the area, the management of the abattoir is fighting against smuggled offals and meat of animals slaughtered from unknown places.
Kwoba said they ensure that stamped and verified meat from as far as Kampala, Iganga, Bugiri and Tororo does not find its way into Busia.
Johnson Wafuba, the deputy town clerk of Busia municipality, said council is collectively working with a contractor to fix some issues at the abattoir.
Concerning water, he said Busia town’s capacity to provide enough safe water is still lacking, but noted that the challenge will be solved after the construction of the Majanji piped water project.
Suzan Wandera, the deputy mayor of Busia town, admitted that the abattoir has several challenges, adding that the council has started with emptying the pit-latrine, saying other challenge shall be addressed with time.