Ntoroko Cattle Keepers Want Besigye To Address Water Shortage

2401 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
Ntoroko, a predominantly cattle keeping district often experiences prolonged drought. The most affected people are cattle keepers whose basic source of livelihood is livestock.

Voters in Ntoroko want Dr. Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party presidential candidate to address the problem of water in the district during his campaigns. Besigye is expected to kick off his presidential campaigns in Ntoroko District later today with rallies in Karugutu, Rwebisengo and Kanara Sub Counties.  
 

 
Ntoroko, a predominantly cattle keeping district often experiences prolonged drought. The most affected people are cattle keepers whose basic source of livelihood is livestock farming. Hundreds of cows are lost in the district as pasture and water become increasingly scarce. Statistics from Ntoroko District Veterinary Office indicates that there are only two valley dams and at least 50 cows die each month. 



Steven Mujuni, the chairperson of the Cattle Keepers, says providing valley dams will be the long term solution to the devastating effects of seasonal drought. He explains that currently the common source of water for livestock are simple wells that dry out during the dry seasons. Mujuni says livestock walk for more than 25 km in search of water, which is also insufficient.


According to Mujuni, some cattle keepers have abandoned their homes for more than one month in search of water for their cattle. He hopes Besigye will explain how will address the water shortage. Charles Mwesige, another pastoralist in Rwebisengo Sub County says two years ago, government promised to construct concrete underground tanks to store water during the wet season and provide adequate supplies to the pastoralists during the dry spell in vain.

 
Mwesige says that he is forced to travel long distances to areas inside the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of water for his animals. The voters also expect Besigye to explain how he intends to address the rampant cattle thefts, which are common in Rwebisengo and Karugutu sub counties. The cows are stolen and loaded onto trucks at night for transportation to Bundibugyo district and the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. 



Richard Mugenyi, a cattle keeper says they have filed several complaints with the police, but nothing has been done to stem the thefts. He also says several requests to the police to introduce road blocks and night patrols to check the vice have gone unanswered.