The cattle keepers in Ntoroko district have decried the rate at which tsetse from Semliki national park are killing their cows.
Ntoroko district is estimated to have 160,000 heads of cattle but the herdsmen are now worried that if the tsetse flies are not controlled, their livestock is at stake of perishing.
Mujungu said that the national park stages a threat to the people of Ntoroko because tested flies and trypanosomiasis come from there and attack their animals.
“Tsetse fly and tick challenges are high in the greater Rwebisengo area especially at the interface with conversation area. Famers lose many animals to East Cost Fever and Trypanosomosis,” Christopher Mujungu, a resident of Rwebisengo said.
He said that the cattle keepers are also facing a big problem of lions which come from Semliki national park and eat their cows, adding they have lost over 200 cows to lion in a period of ten year.
He appeared to Uganda Wildlife Authority to relocate the lions from the park to other parks where people don’t keep cows.
The cattle keepers addressed their problems to the minister of state for agriculture, animal industry and fisheries Lt Col Bright Rwamirama on Saturday at Rwebisengo trading center in Ntoroko district.
Rwamirama had rushed to Ntoroko district to sensitize the cattle keepers on how they can prevent tsetse flies and trypanosomiasis from affecting their animals.
Rwamirama gave them deltamethrin acaricide that kills both nuisance flies, lice ticks and tsetse flies in the affected sub-counties of Rwebisengo, Kanara, Nombe and Karugutu.
He also provided 20,000 doses of Cooper pour-on to treat foot and mouth disease, contagious Bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) locally known as ekihaha in cows and peste despetitis ruminants (omubyamo) in goats and sheep which has left many animals dead.
The Ntoroko district woman Member of Parliament Jennifer Mujungu noted that the people of Ntoroko entirely depend on cows as main source of food, income and other needs.
“People here sell their cows to buy food in markets and milk is part of our food as well. Without cows, people in Ntoroko cannot live and we need a lasting solution for this problem,” Mujungu said.
She also urged government to give Ntoroko a special consideration like Karamoja region, saying that they have similar challenges.
“When it rains, the area floods and when its dry season, we experience a terrible drought, I am begging the government to give us a special attention so that we can save our people from dying,” Mujungu pleaded.
The district veterinary officer Dr Patrick Bagonza said that the cattle keepers in Ntoroko are worried after an outbreak of rabies and lumpy skin diseases reported d in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr Bagonza said that the heavy traffic of illegal livestock movement is worsening the situation and called for an urgency to vaccinate animals in the district to prevent the diseases.