KASESE – Salt production at Katwe-Kabatoro salt lake in Kasese district has dropped by 40% resulting from the current lockdown. The lockdown, which has seen a ban on inter-district travel and on both private and public transport, has affected the export of salt mainly to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hajji Jumah Rajab, the chairperson of Lake Katwe salt Miner’s Savings and Credit Cooperative Society, said that they are stuck with hundreds of tons of salt from March when the first lock-down was announced. Rajab said the product is lying in the pans because of the closure of roads and movement restrictions.
Everest Musimenta, who owns a pan, said the lockdown has dashed his hopes. He says that he had not returned to his salt pan for more than a week now due to lack of customers. Oliver Masika, a miner at Katwe said the demand for raw salt has also reduced because of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which has killed several animals in Ankole.
She added that the lockdown imposed across the country at the end of March brought production to an early close, and that this year’s output is down to less than 60 per cent from the previous year’s output. Catherine Mbahimba, the principal town Clerk Katwe Kabatooro town council, said delivery of services in the town council is likely to be affected because of low revenue collections.
She said they were collecting fees from each motorcycle and vehicle transporting salt, which has reduced due to inter-district travel restrictions.
Johnbosco Kananura, the LC III chairperson Katwe-Kabatooro town council, said that everything has changed as a result of the lockdown.
According to Kananura, the salt processing activity was hit because most plants across the industry are either running at lower capacity or were closed in the initial phase of the lockdown. URN