By Leilah Bbaale
Cattle farmers in Bunyoro sub-region are struggling to look for pasture and water for their animals following the dry spell that has hit the area for the past three months. The most affected farmers are from the districts of Buliisa, Hoima, Kiryandongo, Masindi and Kikuube.
The few available dams that used to provide water for the animals have all dried up forcing farmers to trek long distances in search of water. According to the farmers, their animals have started dying due to a lack of pasture and water.
Joselyne Kakwerere, a cattle farmer in Kikuube explains that all the available dams in the district have dried up, and now, they have to trek long distances in search of water for their animals. David Bwizira, a herdsman in Buseruka sub-county Hoima district says he has lost 15 cows over the last two months.
Jackson Sabiti, a herdsman in Kagadi district says the only option they had was to sell off some of the animals due to lack of pasture before the government imposed a ban on livestock markets. Charles Kanonko, also a herdsman in Hoima district, says he has lost over 20 cows since March as a result of the dry spell.
Benon Mugisha, another cattle farmer, says some of the farmers are considering relocating their animals to other districts since they can’t withstand the current situation in Bunyoro sub-region.
Between December 2020 and January 2021, the region was hit hard by a drought that ravaged and affected hundreds of cattle farmers. During this period, farmers in the region lost more than 200 cattle due to a shortage of pasture and water.