18 June 2019

Uganda: Residents Abandon Kole Abattoir for Five Years

A slaughter slab at Omuko Market in Kole Town Council has been idle since its construction in 2014 after residents rejected the facility over alleged shoddy work.

The facility was constructed at a cost of Shs13m, according to The Apac Anti-Corruption Coalition (TAACC).

"Money has been spent but the structure has never been utilised. It is in a sorry state. It is a wasted resource. It does not serve the purpose," Mr Paul Herimos Acak, the programmes manager at TAACC, said on Monday.

Mr Felix Ogwal Obala, the engineer of Ayer Town Council, said the facility has been idle because it was constructed in a market that is not busy.

The market operates only on Wednesdays.

"The community is also misusing it. It no longer has a door, people defecate inside the facility, part of the structure has been demolished by unknown people and a section of the roof blown off by heavy winds," Mr Obala said.

Last year, the State Minister for Animal Industry and Fisheries, Ms Joy Kabatsi, decried the pathetic state of abattoirs in the country and the manner in which animals are handled during transportation, to slaughter houses.

Experts say protection of animals and consumers of animal produce from diseases should guide food producers and processors, including operators of abattoirs.

However, in a brief written by Kokas Ikwap, Makerere University, Helena Höök, National Veterinary Institute, and Magdalena Jacobson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the current designs and daily operations in the slaughter slabs in the country cannot guarantee food safety.

For instance, they noted that there is negligence in the implementation of regulations on slaughter hygiene.

Uganda National Bureau of Standards has previously urged local governments and other relevant agencies to ensure that standards for beef handling and animal slaughter are enforced.

Tips

Experts recommended that government implements regulations on meat safety during slaughter via the veterinary department.

The government should also develop minimum rules and/or standards on the design of slaughter slabs to improve slaughter hygiene.

There is need to train personnel in slaughter slabs on food safety and feasible ways of ensuring compliance with food safety regulations during slaughter in slaughter slabs need to be identified.

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