An unknown disease has waged havoc in Maracha district killing two animals. Over twenty others still waiting for their turn of death.
Egamara and Aroi, are most affected parishes in Yivu Sub county.
A 68 years old Alahai Draleku, was the first to register death of an animal.
He says his cow, worth Ugx. 650000, died on 8th April after developing a swelling at the neck which later bursted out to created a deep circular wound.
Mr. Draleku claims the death of the animal was as a result of vaccination administered on 24th March, this year.
“My animal was healthy but after vaccination on the 8th March, the neck swell and bursted weeks later leaving a deep wound. On 24th April, the animal died” Mr. Draleku told the Red Pepper.
As a Moslem Mr. Draleku dug a hole to bury the carcass as per Islamic tradition but an assistant veterinary officer came and stopped them.
“He told the people around that they could eat some parts of the dead animal, so he surrendered it to them. The head and offal of the dead animal were cut off and buried as rest was divided by community members for consumption” Mr. Draleku explained.
A 56 year old Enzama Dante is another victim who recently, on Tuesday, 5th May, this year, lost a cow which was under gestation period (pregnant).
Mr. Enzama weighed the dead animal to be 80Kgs which he estimates would earn him about Mgx. 960,000 if sold as meat but the dead animal was buried.
He, similarly described the conditions of his animal before death, to that of Draleku and linked its demise to the same cause.
Ms. Bacia Mary has a heifer with swollen neck like animals of other members of the community. She use salt and soap solution for the animal to drink as medication due to lack of money for drug.
The old Woman like others, is waiting when her animal with succumb to death. While she ponders on what to do with the carcass and how to acquirer another animals.
Mr. Acema Jimmy is still nursing his two animals estimated to cost Ugx. 1.5 M.
“I want to know what the government will do if my animals die? Am sure to seek redress and demand compensation from the government. I can’t accept a loss inflicted on me by government program”. Mr. Acema who blames the death of her animals to the recent vaccination program, said.
Mr. Acema revealed that he had already notified the area local council, LC 2, LC 3 and the district chairpersons of his grievance.
“I have already informed the LCs of my intention to seek compensation from the government” Acema disclosed.
Mr. Amaku SABIR and Mr. Tabuley Cosmus are local council chairpersons for Nyoro and Olevu villages, which the two most hit areas by the mysterious animal disease.
The two area chairpersons are in trouble as they were both in the forefront in mobilizing the people to vaccinate their animals.
“The death of animals has cause severe enmity and hatred towards us from owners of the animals because we mobilized them for vaccination. They are now blaming taking us responsible for the death of their animals and demand” the two area Chairpersons lamented.
Red Pepper could not easily reach the District Veterinary Officer (DVO), for an appropriate explanation on possible cause of death of the animals, by press time.
However, the district LC. 5 Chairperson, Adiga Lawrence Ozu’bia, who Chairperson scene disclosed directing the DVO to institute an investigation in to the matter. But he declined that government would take any responsibility without investigation report.
” We can’t rush to conclude that the animals die due to the vaccination or the injection was badly administered. A’m tasking the DVO to institute a team to investigate and give us a report on exactly what might have happened. Otherwise, it’s a great loss but still I can’t hurry to commit that government will compensate the owners.
That is a decision which will be reached later while the first issue is to establish what really caused the death of the animals” Adiga explained to Red Pepper.
He ruled it as negligence in case of death of the animals is due to inappropriate administration of vaccination injection.
“If truly, the animals died because the injections were not administered well, that is sign of incompetence. That’s very bad but we shall wait for the result of the investigation” he concluded without any satisfactory reply to those who lost animals.
The district chairperson neither disclosed the composition of the probe team nor its terms of reference.
A neutral investigation would be done by a team comprising a member of civil society organisation but unfortunately, Maracha district doesn’t have one