By Mulengera Reporters
Livestock traders in the Karamoja sub-region have asked the joint security forces to revise the newly issued guidelines on the transportation of livestock.
Recently the security forces issued guidelines designating only two routes for the cattle traders to transport livestock out of the region. This was intended to curb the illegal cattle trade which has fueled attacks by cattle rustlers.
However, the traders and cattle owners have protested the move saying there is a need to revise the guidelines because they cannot count losses over insecurity. According to the traders, the designated routes are very insecure, impassable, and costly which makes them incur losses.
Peter Sogol, the Chairperson of Kotido livestock traders said that the traders are forced to abandon the business due to tight restrictions and high costs of transport. He noted that transporting one bull costs between 180,000 Shillings and 150,000 while goats and sheep cost 45,000 Shillings.
Sogol says the routes which have been designated are very insecure and these put the lives of traders at high risk of being attacked by warriors.
Sam Musiwa and Simon Nangiro who also trade in cattle say that the designated routes are marred with poor telecom networks which makes them prone to looting by armed criminals.
Julius Lemukol, a resident of Kidepo village in Lotisan Sub County said that security forces should allow the traders to use the popular routes for transporting cows but establish security checkpoints.
Lemukol observed that traders have declined in the markets and yet this is the time they need to sell off their cows to enable their children to go back to school. He also noted that the high restrictions have also made the traders buy livestock from them cheaply as they may want to recover the money spent on transportation.
Tonny Odongkara, the North Karamoja Animal Checkpoints Commander says that the routes were generated in 2019 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries, and fisheries but the security forces have not been enforcing them.
Odongkara noted that their work as security is only to enforce the guidelines and there is nothing much they can do to change the implementation work plan. He however called upon the traders to adhere to the new set of guidelines as they engage the ministry for possible adjustments.
Currently, the traders from the districts of Amudat, Nakapiripirit, and Kotido will utilize the Moroto to Soroti Road, with a mandatory verification of cows at the Nadunget checkpoint. On the other hand, districts such as Kaabong and Karenga will use the road to the Kitgum district-URN (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 041 4674611 or email us at email@example.com).