Buwenge Town Council Grapples with Stray Animals

1948 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Erisa Mingwa, the Buwenge town council Health Inspector says stray animals have become a common sight in markets, shops and streets.

Stray animals are still a common sight in Buwenge Town Council in Jinja district due to lack of enforcement. The stray animals include cattle, dogs, goats and Pigs among others.
In 2013, Buwenge town council passed a by-law to impound stray animals and penalise their owners. The by-law was enforced until mid-2014 and thereafter it was abandoned. The failure to enforce the bye-law has prompted residents to release their animals to loiter in the town council.
Erisa Mingwa, the Buwenge town council Health Inspector says stray animals have become a common sight in markets, shops and streets. He says the stray animals compete for space with motorists, pedestrians and vendors.  Mingwa says apart from destroying resident's property, the animals also pose a great health risk to residents.
He says much as the town council is responsible for impounding the animals, residents have a bigger responsibility to ensure their animals are kept off the streets. Steven Mwesigye Ngobi, the Buwenge Town Council chairperson attributes their failure to enforce the by law on a thin staff in the enforcement department and lack of operational logistics.
He says that they are planning to recruit additional enforcement officers to strengthen the department. Mwesigye says the stray animals have become a big challenge as they at times disrupt the traffic flow in the town council.
One of the areas most affected by the stray animals is Buwenge central market. Zaitun Zilifa Mbalya, a fresh food vendor in Buwenge central market says the stray animals have caused him a loss of up Shillings 100,000 in the past few months.
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Abubakari Kiwanuka, the Officer in charge of enforcement and security at Buwenge Central market says they have done a lot to stop the animals from loitering in the market.

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He says they charge a fine of 50,000 Shillings for each animal impounded in the market. Jane Takoba, a businesswoman along Kamuli road says traders suffer losses because the stray animals eat their merchandise such as vegetables, Irish potatoes, oranges, cabbages and bananas.
He advises the town council authorities to get rid of stray animals if the newly launched Keep Buwenge Clean campaign of 2014 is to succeed. Dickson Azalwa, the Buwenge Town Clerk says there are only three enforcement officers attached to his office who are over stretched.  He says the law enforcement officers hardly find time to attend to the stray animals.