Business
Prolonged dry spell ravages cattle corridor
Publish Date: Mar 07, 2014
Prolonged dry spell ravages cattle corridor
Farmers have to reduce their cattle to managable numbers during dry spells
  • mail
  • img
newvision

The dry spell that runs from October to February has left farmers in the cattle corridor counting losses as water runs out and pasture is depleted. GERALD TENYWA was in Nakasongola to see how the farmers are coping.

At Migyera in Nakasongola, Anne Bazara buys water at sh2,000 a 20-litre jerrycan, which is about 20 times more expensive than in Kampala.

She is one of the thousands desperately searching for water as the heat scorches Nakasongola during the dry
spell that usually runs from October to February of every year.

The cattle corridor, a dry land belt running from northeastern Uganda across the central region to southwestern Uganda.
 

“A 20-litrejerrycan of water from the borehole goes for sh2,000, while that from the dam costs between sh700 and sh1,000,” said Bazara, adding that the dam water is dirty.
 

Three weeks ago, piped water at Migyera run dry. The water sources are getting dry one after another, making it more difficult to get water. At the moment, the nearest water source (boreholes) in Migyera is about 15km away. As a result, some people go for days without bathing.
 

Cattle dying

The drought has also caused food insecurity and pastures have been depleted leaving the residents and cattle hungry. Nakasongola has become a hard place to stay.
 

Joshua Sebwato, a National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) coordinator at Nabiswera, said: “Cattle have been dying in the last three weeks due to starvation.” 

“This has led to losses since the meat is sold at giveaway prices.”
 

A kilogramme of meat in Nakasongola now goes for between sh1,500 and sh2,000. In Kampala, the average price of a kilogramme of meat is sh7,000.
 

The cattle that are braving the hard conditions have become too thin that cattle dealers offer about sh200,000 for an animal previously sold for sh800,000.

Government offers uncoordinated support

To deal with the food shortage, the farmers have resorted to cutting potato into small slices and drying it to preserve it. The dried potatoes are known as kasedde.
 

“If left in the ground, the potatoes would rot, leaving farmers hungry,” Sebwato says.
 

Others have intensified charcoal burning as a means of survival, but this leaves the ground bear, prolonging the dry spell.
 

The district environment officer, James Kunobere, has been carrying out sensitisation, educating the residents on the dangers of cutting the trees.
 

Patrick Kibaya, the Climate Change Adaptation ICT (CHAI) manager, said government agencies are trying to address climate change, but remain uncoordinated.
 

“With the creation of the Climate Change Unit there is going to be a lot more coordination when it comes to awareness and interventions on climate change,” said Kibaya, adding that uncoordinated activities lead to duplication of services.
 

He advised farmers to diversify their enterprises and adapt environmentally friendly activities such as fruit growing, rearing of bees and low cost water harvesting technologies.
 

“People often imagine that adaptation is about grand technologies, which cost a lot of money. It is possible to adapt to climate change by using locally available resources,” he said.

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Farmers to cut cocoa for food crops
The Rwenzori Diocese Bishop, Rt. Rev. Reuben Kisembo, has told farmers in Bundibugyo to cut down some of the cocoa trees to create more space for food production or else people are likely to be affected by hunger...
Govt kicks off 2016/17 budget consultations
The ministry of finance, planning, economic and development has released a time table for national budget consultations across the country that begins today August 31 up to Sept 11...
Youth told to form groups for govt support on bee farming
Youth interested in bee keeping have been advised to form groups to be able to get extensive training and information support from government...
Mobile money customers shoot to 19.5m
Registered mobile money customers have increased from 17.6 million to 19.5 million between June 2014 and June 2015, the central bank has disclosed....
COMESA in drive to harmonise grain standards
The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) met Friday to kick start the process of harmonizing standards of maize grain across the region, and interpreting the existing standards...
Farmers tipped on minting money from honey
A symposium of farmers from Tanzania and Uganda were told that the global demand for honey is currently overwhelming the supply in the market....
Do you support KCCA'S move to ban campaign posters from the city?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter