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MUSHINDAMO LIVESTOCK FARMERS IN DIP TANK DILEMMA

Livestock farmers in Mushindamo have called on government to intervene in a matter where a developer has claimed ownership of land where government constructed a dip tank for animals in Mikilingi farm bloc.

The farmers have also demanded for veterinary officers to be deployed in the area for ease access to animal care services.

Speaking during a community meeting held in Mikilingi farm bloc yesterday, Mikilingi Farm and Open Area Development Committee Chairperson, Mwape Mushili said livestock farmers had requested for a dip tank from government in 2009 due to the increase in livestock in the community.

 “The request for a dip tank was granted by government in 2009, land was given by the chief and construction of the tank was done,” Mr Mushili said.

He said the community had also decided on construction of a community school and clinic on the same land because the area lacks such facilities.

Mr Mushili said farmers in the area are shocked that someone is claiming ownership of the land and has since prohibited community members from accessing the site.

He said the dip tank is not functional because there are no drugs for treatment, water or officers to manage it as it was not officially handed over after construction.

 “The community organized someone to look after the dip tank when construction works were complete, however, someone claiming to be the owner of the land chased him and prohibited us from visiting the site,” Mr Mushili said.

Meanwhile, Mushindamo acting District Commissioner, Oscar Mugala said the dip tank is state property and no one has a right to take over land on which government has constructed its facility.

Mr Mugala said government will ensure that the dip tank becomes functional as it investigates the matter regarding the person who claims ownership of the land. 

 “That dip tank was constructed by government using tax payer’s money, so no one can claim that land is theirs and prohibit you from going to the site”, he said.

Mr Mugala has also appealed to investors to consider setting up a veterinary clinic near Mikilingi farm block because it has potential to generate a lot of income from sell of vaccines and medicines for animals.

He said the area has about 4,000 cattle which can benefit from veterinary clinic services unlike the prevailing situation where officers travel distances to access the animals and the farmers buy drugs from Solwezi.

And Livestock and Fisheries Coordinator, Pius Chifumpa said the dip tank is important to livestock farmers as it helps to control ticks on animals.

He said with the dip tank in place, the animals in the district can easily fight off certain diseases that come with ticks. –  ZANIS

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