Livestock Markets in Ntoroko district are closing down as a result of the persistent dry spell that has led to the death of several animals.
The closed cattle markets are Majumbi in Rwebisengo Sub County, Makondo and Haibale in Kanara Sub County. These markets are often frequented on Mondays, Thursday and Saturday by traders from Bundibugyo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
However, Majumbi cattle market which is usually crowded every Thursday remained deserted all through yesterday with several empty kraals. The Few available animals looked bonny and emaciated, our reporter observed.
Ntoroko district is prone to prolonged droughts which mostly affect cattle keepers. Statistics from the veterinary office indicates that more than 500 herds of cattle have died in the past three months.
Sylvia Kamakune, a resident of Majumbi trading centre says that she has lost twenty head of cattle in a space of two weeks. Kamakune says that the cattle had no pasture and water since it had all dried out while at the same time, the valley dams constructed three years ago are all empty.
Sam Mijumbi, another cattle keeper says he lost ten head of cattle during the last one month due to alck of water and pasture. Mijumbi says that the few existing water dams are dirty and the water is not good for livestock consumption.
Michael Baguma, the Ntoroko District Veterinary Officer, says that last year, Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Husbandry promised that Ntoroko district will be included on the list of cattle corridor districts and will benefit from water dams, however none of the facilities have been constructed.