Residents in Nakaseke district have formed vigilante groups to fight the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in other areas.

Nakaseke is among the 36 cattle corridor districts currently affected by Foot and Mouth Disease in the Country. Atleast 225 heads of cattle have been affected by the disease in the five sub counties within the cattle corridor in Nakaseke district.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries has since banned the movement of all animals and their products till the disease is eradicated. Now residents in Nakaseke have formed vigilante groups and mounted roadblocks to enforce the restrictions in fighting the spread of the disease.

The vigilante groups armed with spray pumps filled with chemicals have been deployed along the roads, especially in areas where the disease was detected to disinfect any vehicles passing through to avoid transporting the disease to other areas.

George Mpanzi, a pastoralist at Buwana village in Kinyogogga sub county says that the residents have contributed funds and bought recommended chemicals which they use to spray the vehicles.

Mpanzi added that due to the many liters needed to do the work, they also ask drivers to contribute at least 2000 shillings and 1000 shs for motorcyclists to ensure they have enough chemicals for spraying daily. He says that the move is intended to ensure that the disease is contained in only kraals where it was spotted and eliminated.

Benon Tumusiime, a vigilante says that apart from disinfecting travelers, the group also intercepts vehicles that could try to smuggle animals or their products and orders them to return to where they came from.

Tumusiime says that those who resist are always handed over to nearby Police Stations to face charges of defying the quarantine. Tom Ndayiro, a driver told URN at the Buwana roadblock that they are also submissive to the vigilantes’ guidance because what they do is beneficial to the community.

Geoffrey Kizza, the LC 3 Chairperson of Ngoma sub county says that all farms that have been affected by the disease have also been cordoned off and people restricted from accessing t

Fred Rwabirinda, the District Secretary for Production says that they have asked local police stations to beef up the vigilantes to ensure the disease is contained within a short time so that the quarantine is lifted.

Dr. Lawrence Kisule, the Nakaske District Veterinary Officer said the vigilante groups have been empowered by district authority to engage in the fight against the disease. Kisule adds that the vigilantes have also helped to apprehend trucks that were smuggling out cattle and handed them over to the Police.

Animals and their products are the leading source of income for both residents as well as the district.

Nakaseke district collects 760 million shillings per financial year as local revenue from cattle markets but with quarantine due to the FMD outbreak, the district is unlikely to achieve the target this year.

According to the Nakaseke veterinary office, there are over 510,000 heads of cattle in the district.


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