At least 575 unlicensed butchers operated in Kampala City last year. A report released by Kampala Capital City Authority, says although the directorate inspected 892 butchers last year, only 317 were licensed.
“317 butcheries were licensed. 892 butcheries were inspected and sensitised on meat hygiene and structure requirements,” reads the report tabled before the Kampala Capital City Authority council by the Acting KCCA Public Health Director, Dr. Dickens Okello on Monday.
Adding that,”149 butcheries were closed in the city for not complying with the Kampala Meat Ordinance of 2006, 145 butcheries then complied with the minimum requirements and were reopened.” The report says that 29 of the closed butcheries were found “With chemicals in their premises. 29 half liter bottles of a local chemical concoction under the name tsumani were impounded from these butcheries.”
Dr. Dickens Okello says tsumani is a milky insecticide manufactured by a man in Wakiso that hasn’t been licensed by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). According to the report, 157 kilograms of meat were impounded from butcheries around Kampala and destroyed for being contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
The report also says 9 illegal slaughter places were closed around the city. “This has been to ensure that all animals are slaughtered in authorised slaughter houses so that meat is hygienically handled, inspected and its transportation supervised by authority staff,” reads the report.
The report demanded by City Authority Council last week comes hot on the heels of operations led by the KCCA Public Health Directorate, Uganda National Bureau of Statistics, National Drug Authority and Ministry of Agriculture to crack on butchers who have been using formalin and hydrogen peroxide to preserve meat.
The operation has been running for two weeks. Reacting to the report, councilors criticised the Public Health Directorate for being generic and its failure to enforce the 2006 Meat Ordinance, which demands that all butcheries must operate with a license.
For instance, It says the applicant must produce a certificate from a medical officer of health stating that the premises in respect of which the license is required meets the requirements such as availability of sufficient water and good sanitary condition of the building to prevent any contamination of the meat.
The ordinance also stipulates that the building to be used as butchery must have a “fly proof repository of a size and design approved by the Council, for the storage of any meat not required for immediate sale.”
Murshid Buwembo, the Representative of Persons with Disability, argued that there are more butcheries than what is contained in the KCCA report, meaning that it has failed to carry out its mandate.
The director was tasked to go back and enrich the report with details such as practical mechanisms of sensitizing the public on meat preservation without blowing it out of proportion. The director was also tasked to name the precise number of butcheries in Kampala.