Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Slaughtering threatened as blood, water forms dirty ponds

The persistence of torrential rains and inability by city authorities to maintain hygienic standards at the Mazizini and Vingunguti abattoirs on the south western tip of the city threatens to make it hard to obtain meat or make it more expensive. Stanley Ngosi, the chairman of Uwema, an association of abattoir users at the place, said large amounts of dung remained uncollected as their demand from customers had diminished, with people doing fewer preparations of farms during the heavy rains period. In addition to worn out infrastructures, water logging was building up in the slaughtering area at Mazizini, adding to the inconvenience due to uncollected piles of cow dung.  This has resulted into spreading of mud, inconveniencing access to the compound, this reporter noticed. Were the situation to persist, operators of abattoirs face the risk of having to suspend business operation of slaughtering cattle in the area as the place would look too unhygienic, which risks causing sporadic diseases. A random survey conceded in the city this week has  reveal that due to poorly constructed infrastructures for drainage systems and old disposal facilities for refuse in these areas, they cannot withstand the persistent downpour thus posing a threat to the slaughtering process. A survey carried out at Mazizini abattoir which is located at Ukonga and another at Vingunguti showed that the facilities are in urgent need of revamping and modernisation. Slaughterhouse facilities had been overwhelmed by too much rainwater, blocking drainage trenches, thus making slaughter blood and water remain in pools, an unacceptable situation, the Uwema leader said.   

Skinners at work on the ground, this is contrary to principles of sanitation
He said that he was aware of plans for improvement but replacement of the facilities needs time and money, “thus it cannot be implemented at this time when rains are still going on.” The number of slaughtered cattle has increased tenfold since the abattoirs were built, pushing its use even in more convenience weather situation to its seams, and nearly breaking down when heavy rains start. Built in 1972, Mazizini was designed to accommodate 50 cattle but now it handles about 320 cattle, he said.When is not raining the cow dung become is sold for manure. Abattoir operators say that in recent years, the facility has regularly faced closure due to filthy surroundings, operating well beyond the capacity of its infrastructure. The situation has brought some meat traders in Dar es Salaam to demand the Dar es Salaam City Council (DCC) to fulfill its long standing promise of constructing a modern abattoir. Some interviewed meat traders said that they are surprised to see no sign of construction is being undertaken ever since the promise was made by the city authorities over a decade ago and instead continues to slaughter their cows in dilapidated abattoirs. Samwel Chilongolo a Dodoma based resident and a Dar meat trader said that drainage systems when fully being used affects individual houses around the place.  Expansion is needed in infrastructural upgrades especially as the city population increases, as well as meat demand, he said. Another meat trader Ezekiel Samson wondered why 40 years since the abattoir was built the city has only dilapidated abattoirs. Efforts to contact the Ilala Municipal Council director Mwendahasara Maganga for comments proved futile, but an official said that the council is now looking for a strategic investor who would build the abattoir as the municipal council is no longer able to afford the costs of a modern abattoir.

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