By JOHN KOMBE
Cattle farmers in Chongwe are desperately waiting for the government to supply vaccines as they grapple with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
Chongwe district director of livestock and veterinary, Francis Mwanza made the observation when he presented a report to area member of parliament Sylvia Masebo during a District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC) meeting.
He disclosed that the district recorded the first case of FMD in April last year and that his office had submitted a report to the ministry and were still waiting for vaccines.
He said that the disease had spread to several areas, a situation that he said was of great concern.
He revealed that some farmers had since lost some animals that had succumbed to the disease.
He was however hopeful that the government would soon provide the necessary assistance.
And Chongwe member of parliament , Sylvia Masebo described the situation as alarming and wondered why the veterinary officers in the district had not prioritised the matter when it had a negative effect on the welfare of the livestock farmers.
She said that the livestock farmers depend on the animals for their livelihood and as such needed to be assisted to curb animal disease.
She therefore advised the officers to quickly engage the Ministry of Agriculture for assistance.
Meanwhile Lwimba ward councillor, Vincent Mwachiyeya said that a number of farmers in his area had lost animals to the disease and called on the government to come to the aid of the farmers before more animals die of the disease.