Residents in Nakaseke are panicking over how to finance their Christmas festivities, after a quarantine was slapped on their cattle due to foot and mouth disease.
According to Dr Edrisa Sebbaale, the Nakaseke district agricultural officer, no cow, milk or any other cattle product is allowed into and out of Nakaseke until further notice. He said the most affected areas were Kinoni and Ngoma sub-counties.
“Since we want to curb the spread of the disease, we have been compelled to declare a quarantine before the situation goes out of hand,” Sebbaale said yesterday.
He added that officials from the ministry of Agriculture had taken samples following reports of an unusual disease that had attacked the cattle. It was proven to be foot and mouth disease. About 70 per cent of the locals in Nakaseke have a cow or two in their homesteads.
And many usually sell one or two to raise cash for spending during the annual festive season that is fast closing in. They also sell milk daily to areas such as Luweero town. Now they are praying hard that Christmas comes after the disease has been stamped out.
Richard Mubangizi, one of the affected locals from Kito, says: “I have five cows, of which I was planning to sell one to get money to feed my family and go for entertainment during the Christmas and New Year festivities. But now I am worried if the time comes and the quarantine is not yet lifted. I am broke. I don’t know what else I will do to get money to do the needful.”
Sarah Namara, from Ngoma, told The Observer: “I sell milk. It is the profits from it that I use to meet some of the daily expenses. But now it has become hard for me. I was planning to sell one out of my three cows in early December to prepare for Christmas, but now I am confused over what else I can do to get some money.”
Enock Nyongore, the Nakaseke district speaker and councillor representing Ngoma, said it was unfortunate that the disease had broken out at a time most people here sell their cattle to prepare for the festive season.
“Also, as the district, we are worried that we will register low revenues because it is from these cattle dealers that we earn it,” he said.
Source : The Observer