MPs Raise Concerns over Unpaid School Fees Due to Foot and Mouth Disease

Cattle Uganda
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Legislators in Parliament expressed concerns about the impact of foot and mouth disease (FMD) primarily in the southwestern region bordering Tanzania. Gomba West MP Robina Rwakoojo described the disease as spreading rapidly, affecting livestock and hindering economic activities such as milk and cattle sales, which are essential for meeting financial obligations like school fees. Despite being cattle farmers themselves, some MPs faced criticism from constituents for perceived neglect.

During a plenary session, Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze addressed the government’s response to the FMD crisis. However, some MPs, like Kashari South County’s Nathan Itungo, expressed dissatisfaction, urging quick and effective solutions to alleviate the plight of animal owners facing financial losses during this critical period.

Rwakoojo proposed that the government’s response to FMD should be proportional to the number of cattle in affected areas. She also questioned the allocation of funds, suggesting that vaccines should be provided free of charge initially to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Concerns were raised about the competence of personnel administering vaccinations, with doubts arising about the authenticity of vaccination certificates. MPs, including Isaac Otimgiw and Tom Alero Aza, sought updates on the extent of the outbreak and measures to prevent its spread to other regions.

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Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa criticized the government’s handling of vaccine distribution, emphasizing the urgency of allowing farmers to purchase vaccines to save their livestock. Meanwhile, Nyabushozi County MP Wilson Twinomugisha proposed training programs through farmer cooperatives to improve vaccine administration.

In response to queries, Tumwebaze explained the government’s strategy, highlighting the prioritization of high-risk districts for vaccine distribution. He assured free distribution of 10 million vaccine doses to mitigate the spread of FMD in affected areas. However, Erute County South MP Jonathan Odur called for a detailed report to facilitate parliamentary support for affected districts.

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