Akuoro Livestock Holding Ground in Bukedea district has been turned into an accommodation facility for nurses from Akuoro Health Center 3 and other district officials.
The facility is meant to help control the spread of animal diseases and increase access to markets. It was finished and put into use in the 2019/2020 financial year with help from the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project and the Ugandan government.
The animal holding ground works as a quarantine center for animals in transit or those meant for distribution. The facility also holds animals that were taken in by the authorities because they didn’t have the right paperwork or other requirements for livestock.
John Erongot, the Secretary to the leaders of Tanka Village, says that instead of putting veterinary staff in the building, the district gave it to other workers whose jobs have nothing to do with animal health.
Erongot says that the facility has not been serving its purpose since it was commissioned. He notes that he has seen veterinary officials conducting vaccinations of animals against foot and mouth disease in the facility once since it was commissioned.
Dr. Aloysius Bukenya, the Senior Veterinary Officer in Bukedea, says the district conducts several animal functions at the facility, which some members of the community don’t understand. He adds that they plan to plant fodder, especially legumes, in one of the paddocks for multiplication.
Bukedea is not alone in the mismanagement of the animal holding ground. In the Katakwi district, the facility became home to the former Resident District Commissioner, Stephen Ekoom, and others. This prompted the district council to intervene in the matter to restore order in Ajesai Animal Ground in Katakwi district.
Geoffrey Omolo, the Katakwi District LC V Chairperson, says that Ajesai Animal Holding Ground operates below capacity. “There’s no serious activity at that holding ground. I have seen one person volunteer to treat animals at the facility. “There is a need to streamline management to make the best use of Ajesai Animal Holding Ground,” he said.
The Animal Holding Project is being implemented in other districts of Abim, Amuria, Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong, Kween, Kumi, Napak, Moroto, and Nakapiripirit. It is estimated that the project will directly benefit 42,000 households in Uganda.