City Abattoir on verge of shut down due to Covid-19

Saturday May 9 2020

Butchers cut beef within the main sla

Butchers cut beef within the main slaughterhouse at the Kampala City Abattoir, off Port Bell Road in Kampala. PHOTO BY EDGAR R. BATTE 

By EDGAR R. BATTE

Kampala- A cloud of uncertainty hovers over the Kampala City Abattoir, the county’s biggest slaughterhouse as business has drastically dropped in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Management is unsure of the times ahead. Mr Muhamad Nsubuga, the secretary of City Abattoir Traders Development Association (CATDA) says their customers are locked in their homes.

They report to find a little money to sustain themselves. Before the Covid-19 lockdown, the abattoir used to slaughter in excess of 300 cattle and all meat was bought.

Schools, hotels, restaurants and institutions were the big customers of abattoir. With most of these closed, under the lockdown, the abattoir has suffered financial setbacks.

Currently, 80 cattle are slaughtered and it is a struggle to find buyers. The City Abattoir, situated along Old Port Bell Road began on November 2 2011 and employs over 20,000 people involved in administrative work, cattle trade, slaughtering animals, transporting as well as support businesses in operations such as mobile money, hotel and restaurant, beverage and soft drinks businesses, a washing bay, blacksmiths, tailors, vendors.

For each cattle slaughtered, Catda earns Shs15,000. Mr Nsubuga explains that the money is split to cater for operational costs.
“The abattoir has monthly expenses. We pay water bills to a tune of Shs40m per month, power at Shs30m per month, waste collection bill of about Shs20m per month, salaries, general repairs especially water pipes’ maintenance and replacements, generator fuels during outages, security,” Mr Nsubuga explains.

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If that cattle die in the abattoir before being slaughtered, the trader is compensated immediately. A healthy cow costs between Shs1m and Shs2m.

Beef is the main cash cow at the abattoir but goats and chicken are a source of income too. With dwindling number of animals slaughtered, prices have been affected too.

A kilogramme of beef costs Shs10,000 up from Shs7,000 while a kilogramme of goat meat costs between Shs16,000 and Shs19,000, up from Shs12,000.

Nsubuga says the abattoir slaughters anywhere between 25 to 30 goats a day yet before Covid-19, on a good day, they would slaughter in excess of 100 goats.

“We used to slaughter 3,000 chicken but there has been a drop in numbers. Now you can buy a slaughtered chicken at Shs7,000. Initially, they cost Shs20,000,” he adds.

Prices rise
With dwindling number of animals slaughtered, prices have been affected too.
A kilogramme of beef costs Shs10,000 up from Shs7,000 while a kilogramme of goat meat costs between Shs16,000 and Shs19,000, up from Shs12,000.

rbatte@ug.nationmedia.com

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