POULTRY disease outbreaks pose a huge challenge among beneficiaries of the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) grants programme, forcing them to seek expert help to prevent their chicken from dying and losing their small businesses.
The call was made yesterday in Morogoro during a visit by some members of the media at Kanolo Village to foresee implementation of TASAF programmes. A beneficiary, Ally Kibendera (66), said he decided to invest the money he got in chicken business.
"This was the only way I thought would help me raise an income for my children to go to school," said Kibendera. He pointed out there was a time when business was very good, but during the outbreak most of the chicken died. "There was a time I lost about 20 chickens to a disease called 'sotoka', it's very common in our area," he said.
Kabendera noted that when 'sotoka' hits the chickens, they become weak and part of their heads become swollen. "All my four children have completed Form Four because of this business, if I lose it will be difficult for me to continue paying for their fees," said Kabendera.
He suggested that they should be equipped with skills and medicines to overcome the diseases so that their business can run smoothly. Fatuma Omary (60), who is also benefiting from the programme, also observed that she has been facing similar problems.
"'Sotoka' has been troubling our village for a while now, we have tried to give the chicken vaccines, but it has not helped because they continue dying," said Omary. She called for expert's help, saying that it was possible that they lack the knowledge to handle the disease in a proper manner.
She, however, thanked the government for establishing such a programme which has helped shed the light for people in their area.
TASAF Communication Officer, Mr Estom Sanga, observed that the various categories of the programme such as the entrepreneurship and public works are yet to be rolled out in some of the areas.
"Plans are underway to roll out such aspects to help the beneficiaries to get rid of poverty and become stable in their lives," observed Mr Sanga.