Funds amounting to a staggering P4, 355, 030.68 were approved for the implementation of the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) II programme in the North East District (NED), the NED Chairman City Kealotswe has said.
Kealotswe announced recently during the official opening of the ongoing full council session that this is despite the recurring foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) scourge in the better part of northern Botswana.
So far the district has managed to spend a total of P1, 614, 718.14 towards the funding of 271 projects.
However, the council chairman said the implementation of the LIMID programme in the district is ongoing but not progressing as expected.
Kealotswe attributed the slow progress to a number of challenges.
“Main challenges affecting the programme are abandoning of projects by beneficiaries, natural disasters such as drought and (recurring) outbreak of diseases especially the foot-and-mouth disease,” he said.
Despite this, the funding and purchasing for beneficiaries is ongoing in the district.
It is against this backdrop that Kealotswe has implored other councillors to try and sensitize the community on the importance and government aims in introducing this programme.
“This will help in instilling sense of accountability and responsibility among the communities hence improves the sustainability of the programme,” explained Kealotswe.
One of the constraints for this programme, Kealotswe said is the outbreak of the deadly FMD especially in Tati East containment zone.
He said the surveillance of the FMD virus in Zone 6 is still on. So far, small traces of the virus have been detected in small stock such as goats and sheep, he said.
And as a way of controlling measures, the district chairperson said the government has taken a deliberate decision to destroy all goats as well as sheep in the affected areas in order to completely eradicate the virus.
He told the full council meeting, “This is done in order to pave to the subsequent restocking in the entire containment zone.”
For their part, councillors in the north eastern corner of the country have urged the government to deal with the FMD once and for all such that the administration would not be channelling funds down the drain.
Before restocking, councillors said government should ensure that the virus has been completely eradicated in the area.
They said it will be a sad development to have another outbreak soon after the restocking of the animals.