Thursday, December 8, 2022

Beef measles scare in North East

North East District Council Chairperson Farayi Bonyongo has expressed worry over the prevalence of beef measles in the district. Addressing the full council meeting last week in Masunga, he said the prevalence level currently stands at 11 percent which is a very serious concern.

“I want to advise the public to use toilets and proper methods of disposing human waste, desist from using untreated sewage water for their cattle, get treated for tapeworm infestation, cook meat thoroughly and desist from consuming uninspected meat,” he warned

Beef measles is the visible damage caused to meat or muscle tissue in the carcass at slaughter of cattle.  Cattle can become infected with this disease after grazing pasture contaminated with human faeces. According to scientists this infection is caused by the larvae of a tapeworm. Once the tapeworm eggs are eaten by cattle, it is released and burrows through the intestinal wall, reaches the blood stream and migrates to a muscle in the animal.

Infected meat is not safe for human consumption. Foreign markets like the European Union(EU) do not accept such meat.

On a different note Bonyongo said the annual livestock census; Rabies, Anthrax and Quarter evil vaccination programme has already started. He urged farmers with more than 100 cattle to collect Anthrax and Quarter evil vaccines from the Department of Veterinary Services. He also added that the department will assist to vaccinate cattle for small scale farmers with less than 100 cattle.

Updating the district council on land allocation, he said Tati Land Board for the financial year 2022/ 2023 has planned to allocate 4828 plots predominantly for residential use.

 “At the beginning of the financial year, only 444 plots were readily available for allocation as the 4531 plots were at various stages for approval, with some in the hands of our surveyors for survey records compilation,”Bonyongo added.

He also revealed that the Land Board has so far allocated only 147 plots out of 444 plots this financial year. He however expressed concern over applicants who do not honor invitation for land allocation. He also said the Land Board has received 1452 plots approved from the Department of Surveys and Mapping and will be scheduled for allocation in July 2022. Touching on the water situation in the District he said their main sources have enough water levels that can supply the district for 15 and 22 consecutive months without inflows.

“Ntimbale dam which supplies most parts of North East District stands at 94.5 percent and Shashe dam which supplies Greater Francistown that includes six remaining villages under North East District is at 87.25 percent as at 6 June 2022,” he said.

He said villages such as Moroka, Siviya and Butale villages have existing boreholes to augment water supply. He said Themashasnga borehole has been put aside due to low yielding while Tshesebe, Moroka and Vukwi boreholes require pre-treatment or blending. Bonyongo added that the district is benefiting from the recently completed Water Upgrading  and Rehabilitation project funded by the World Bank due to an increase in treated water supply from Masingwaneng plant.

“The water is equally shared between North East and Tutume Sub District and the amount of supply is adequate to meet the demand for the district without much balance storage especially in the Eastern side,” said Bonyongo.

He however said shortfalls are realized in the system due to limiting existing infrastructure leading to villages such as Themashanga, Jackalas 1, Tshesebe and Masukwane often experiencing some water shortages especially when there has been interruption in their pumping schedule. He said other villages which are often susceptible include Tsamaya, Mosojane, Senyawe and Butale with the latter often augmented by the existing borehole.

“The Water upgrading  and Rehabilitation Project is still under defects liability periods and we are undergoing a scheme optimization process while the contractor continually attends to snags identified as well as address pending issues. The Project Team still has to advice on Moroka pump-station as it is unable to deliver as expected,” he said. Furthermore, Bonyongo said Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is still working on power supply upgrade at Kalakamati. Meanwhile he said a standby generator is engaged during peak hours to facilitate use of two pumps for consistent flows.

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