The outbreak of a dangerous disease in the Nigeria’s capital Abuja may be closer than envisaged following the revelation by some butchers in the area who disclosed that the lack of water and other amenities have forced them to abandon their slaughterhouses for feaces invested stream as their only source of water to watch butchered cows.
Alhaji Bala Ismaila, the Head of Butchers of Kuje Abattoir, said that butchers have resorted to slaughtering of cows in open spaces because of lack of water and the deplorable state of the slaughterhouse.
“We have been trying to discourage meat consumers from coming to the abattoir because most of them will be discouraged from patronising us after seeing our operating environment.
“Presently, we are slaughtering cows in an open environment instead of using the slaughterhouse because there is no water in the abattoir for over four years.
“The most unhygienic part of it is that we have been using stream water to wash roasted meat as you can see the environment, people defecate and throw it inside the stream but we have no option.
“We are appealing to the relevant authorities, especially the FCT Minister and the Chairman of Kuje Area Council to come to the aid of the butchers in the interest of meat consumers,” he said.
The situation was not different at the Deidei and Dutse abattoir, as butchers lament the deplorable state of market and the road linking the abattoir.
Malam Sada Muhammad, Head of Butcher of the Deidei Abattoir, said that members and traders in the market suffered losses due to lack of water, electricity and bad road.
Muhammad said that traders and butchers suffer more during the raining season because of the difficulties in gaining entrance into the market.
He said except urgent steps are taken to rehabilitate the road and provide basic amenities in the abattoir, the suffering of the butchers and meat consumers would continue.
He, therefore, appealed to the authorities of FCT and Abuja Municipal Area Council to come to the aid of butchers and meat consumers in the area.
Malam Shehu Abubakar, the Chairman of Deidei Market Association, said that the challenge of providing basic amenities in markets and abattoirs was not peculiar to Deidei market.
He said that most markets and abattoirs in the FCT were facing similar problems but appealed to relevant authorities to find lasting solution to them.
“This is my 42 years in meat business. I have been to some markets and abattoirs and I can tell you that they all have similar problems.
“The problem all over is the problem of water to clean slabs after slaughtering and this has been a major challenge to butchers because of smell and difficulty in managing the slaughterhouses without water.
“Since there is no water in the abattoir, we sometimes go to the river behind to slaughter the cow and use the flowing water to wash the meat.
“We know that the water we are using is not very clean but we are using it because there is no option,” he said.