NWDC Chairman Takes FMD Head on


North West District Council (NWDC) chairman, Mr Reaboka Mbulawa has proposed to come up with a district action plan named FMD Operation Restore the District, which will fight the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the district.

He said the 24-month action plan would be led by the district leadership composed of him, land board chairman, the acting Batswana paramount chief, district commissioner, district agricultural coordinator, police station commander and individual chiefs of different localities especially in the affected areas.

He informed a full council meeting that the details of the operation would be provided in a manual to be presented by the council chairman while the sensitisation on FMD Operation Restore the District would kick start mid year after the said leadership had agreed on the action plan.

The action plan came after the chairman noted with concern that farmers were not coming forth to vaccinate their cattle as it was reported that of the 188 cattle that were recalled at Kareng, only six were vaccinated. He said the scenario calls for the district leadership to take a robust and collective action towards eradication of the disease.

Mr Mbulawa said the government has in the past injected money towards management of FMD, more than P20 million annually noting that it was high time as a district to develop action plans to aid these efforts.

Councillors also learnt that the department of Veterinary Services (S) was currently investigating FMD suspect cases reported in Kareng extension area during routine Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) loadings on the 4th March this year.

It was reported that an emergency ring vaccination would be conducted in Kareng and surrounding extension areas and that would be followed by a booster vaccination four weeks later.

Mr Mbualwa urged the livestock farming community to work hand in hand with S by presenting all cattle for vaccinations including calves and stray cattle so that herd immunity is achieved to curb recurrence of FMD in the area.

He also encouraged farmers to report all sick animals to the nearest office without delay. There is movement stand still until the extent of spread of the cases has been mapped and once the surveillance is complete, movement would be relaxed in less risky areas.

The council chairman had also proposed to start a project that will see erection of welcome monuments signage across the district especially at entry points of villages.

Mr Mbulawa said the district has over the years established itself as a leading tourist destination hence the need to find value in proudly displaying the village names in sign or monument styles that make visual statements about the district.

He informed the house that the monument signage would depict the district cultural heritage is the villages. The project would costs over P25 000 and he noted that the company which has been engaged to do the work would start soon.

During his inauguration speech last year, Mr Mbulawa emphasized the need for councillors to always put the community at the center of development as the drivers of transformation and not as mere beneficiaries in order to achieve their common goal.

However, he called all stakeholders to ensure that robust interventions are put in place to ensure that district key issues are addressed towards betterment of the society. He said as the council they have a specific mission and fundamental goal to serve Ngamiland and they would forever remain unfulfilled until such a time that all citizens in the district live in harmony and prosperity.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News