Museveni addressing a congregation at St. Emmanuel Church Rushere
President Yoweri Museveni has assured farmers in the country that the government is doing all it can to overcome the problem of ticks that have cost Ugandans thousands of their livestock in recent times.
Speaking shortly after attending New Year church service held today at St. Emmanuel Cathedral, Rushere in Nyabushozi County Kiruhuura District, the President revealed that that the government has already procured a much more efficient brand of anti-tick acaricides that will be in the country soon. He assured farmers that if well applied, the country will get rid of ticks in six months.
The President who was accompanied by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni, said that ticks had multiplied in the country and cost farmers thousands of their livestock because Ugandan farmers have for a long period of time used the same acaricides that the ticks became resistant to. He attributed this problem to lack of veterinary advice.
He, however, observed that even with the new acaricide, farmers need to do their part by effectively dipping and spraying their livestock. He, therefore, directed State Minister for Animal Industry Hon. Joy Kabatsi, who was present at the church service, to issue guidelines and pass by-laws on what farmers need to do to eradicate ticks.
The President advised that for proper management of the drug and to avoid its adulteration, the government will limit the importation and fewer licenced companies, under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, will supply and sell livestock drugs.
He further said that to mitigate the effects of the ticks, which are responsible for as the deadliest livestock parasite, government will soon conduct a nation-wide vaccination of cattle against East Coast fever, a major cattle disease that is caused by ticks.
Regarding the long spell of drought that has hit the country, the President asked church and other religious institutions to join hands with government in the protection of wetlands and water bodies that generate rain by sensitizing the population against encroaching and destroying wetlands. He attributed the changing rain patterns that the country has experienced to encroachment on wetlands, water bodies and forest cover degradation by human beings.
He appealed to farmers to grow pasture and keep it for their animals and avoid overstocking. He commended the people of Kiruhuura for abandoning nomadism that has led them to live settled lives adding that it has made them work and get rid of poverty and developed their area. He commended the church for partnering with the government in a number of development programmes particularly in the fields of education, poverty eradication, environmental protection and health.
Museveni and First Lady attending New Year’s service in Rushere on Sunday
Mrs. Janet Museveni, on her part, appealed to parents to endeavour to pack lunch for their school-going children. She noted that it is one of the challenges facing the implementation of the Universal Primary and Secondary Education Programmes. She commended the people of Kiruhuura for being excellent farmers and asked them to continue doing so to be able to provide food for their families and mitigate famine that has hit other areas. She advised Christians to live according to Christian teaching and generously give and support the church to receive God’s blessings.
The Bishop of North Ankole Diocese, Rt. Rev. Stephen Namanya, reported that Diocese, with the support from the Church of Uganda leadership, has joined the fight against poverty leading to the distribution of thousands of fruit seedlings in the area. He also said that the Diocese, in partnership with the National Forestry Authority (NFA), has started an afforestation campaign to safeguard the environment adding that so far, 42,000 have been planted in the entire Diocese.
Earlier in his sermon, Bishop Namanya warned the youth against the much-hyped male circumcision that has been interpreted to protect people against contracting HIV/AIDS pandemic. He added that the practice should not cause complacency in the population that would increase the HIV/AIDS infections especially among the youth.