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
Dr Maggie Kigozi: Obstacles in businesses are jewels
Dr Maggie Kigozi, director Crown Beverages Ltd has challenged the youth to consider obstacles in starting and running businesses as opportunities to create better lives....
How to widen Uganda’s tax base in a large subsistence economy
Uganda’s tax base remains small and the country is grappling with measures on how to widen the tax base in light of decreasing donor funds and pressures to finance the national budget....
UAE Exchange Uganda observed World Food Day
UAE Exchange, the leading global remittance, foreign exchange and payment solutions brand observed World Food Day on 16th October. This year the theme was Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”...
Nigerian cleric warns Uganda over oil curse
Rev Father Edward Obi, a leading civil society activists fighting against the effects of the oil curse in Nigeria has warned Uganda that since oil has been discovered Ugandans are not safe from the negative effects the resource brings....
Oil to spur capital markets – Nsamba
This year marks 18 years since the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was formed....
UBOS releases Producer Price Index
THE indices for hotels and restaurants indicate that annual prices for hotel services fell by 2.5 percent during the period of April, May and June 2014, compared to the same period in 2013...
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter