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Nakasongola loses 800 animals to drought

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Cattle in Nakasongola District feed on dry grass. The area has been hit by water shortage. PHOTO BY SAMUEL KAWEESI 

By Samuel Kaweesi

Posted  Sunday, March 9  2014 at  16:10

In Summary

Many pastoralists have been forced to sell their animals at give-away prices so that they do not starve to death.

The district veterinary officer, Mr Sam Eswagu, said the most affected sub-counties include Nabiswera, Nakitoma and Rwabiyata

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Nakasongola.

More than 800 head of cattle have died in Nakasongola District due to the prolonged drought.

Many pastoralists have been forced to sell their animals at give-away prices so that they do not starve to death.

The district veterinary officer, Mr Sam Eswagu, said the most affected sub-counties include Nabiswera, Nakitoma and Rwabiyata.

He said pastoralists have been advised to reduce the size of their herds.
“The situation has caused more devastation as pastoralists watch their animals die due to lack of water and pasture,” Mr Eswagu said.

He said the machines which were sent from the Ministry of Agriculture to dig the dams were taken back before the work was completed.

“We were surprised when the officers came and loaded the machines before completion of the work yet more than 250 farmers had registered for this initiative. We had planned to dig more than 100 dams in the last season but we got only 20 dams which cannot serve both animals and humans,” he said.

The vice chairperson of Nakasongola Pastoralists Association, Ms Rose Kamulegeya, appealed to the government to help farmers cope with climate change.

“In most parts in the district, the land has become totally bare. There are no shrubs for the animals to feed on,” she said.

Nakasongola is one of the cattle corridor districts in the country but faces challenge of water and pasture leading to the collapse of thousands of animals every year. The drought started last December.