Francistown Mayor, Ephraim Maiketso, has expressed concern over the failure by the Francistown City Council (FCC) to raise enough funds to refurbish the closed city council abattoir, which has been out of operation for almost two years.
The 28-year-old facility was closed down early last year after the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the City Council Engineering Department deemed the building unfit for the slaughter of animals. The building was also found to be hazardous to employees due to its dilapidated state. A refurbishment of the facility was then recommended at an estimated cost of P17 million.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard, the mayor said that the closure of the abattoir is a very serious concern as it affects those who want to slaughter their livestock.
“The abattoir will not resume operations anytime soon because the city council does not have enough funds to re-furbish it. It is a serious concern because many people depended on the abattoir to slaughter their livestock. We have since informed the Ministry of Local Government about the situation but there seems to be no progress,” he said.
He added that the closure of the abattoir has affected many farmers as they have to slaughter their cattle at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) which he said is expensive.
“We have negotiated with the BMC to offer its services to those who want to slaughter their animals but the problem is that their services are expensive,” he said.
Maiketso also raised fears of some of the people killing their livestock in the forest, saying that it could pose health hazards to meat consumers.
Among other issues, the mayor expressed concern over the increase of waste in Francistown. He shifted most of the blame to the Chinese traders, saying that they do not manage the waste from their shops.
“We have a problem with waste in Francistown, more especially from the areas where there are Chinese shops. We have since roped in the bye-law officers to try and talk to the traders about the situation,” Maiketso said.
Touching on the rate of crime in the city, the mayor said that there is a significant decline in crime due to the reduction of illegal immigrants in the city.
“Crime in the city has declined significantly, apart from a few cases of house break-ins and theft, which continue to be a concern,” he said.