By Rohey Jadama
Foroyaa has been informed about the sudden death of scores of pigs in some piggeries in the Kanifing Municipality and the cause of which is not yet known at least to the owners rearing the animals.
The information prompted this reporter to visit some of the places where pigs are being reared and are dying for ‘unknown’ reasons.
Visiting the home of one Marie Sambou, the owner of a pig pen who is residing in Churchills Town, on Sunday, 5 October, she confirmed having lost some pigs which died while she was away in Casamance. “Before I returned home, I was called and informed about the death of 40 of my pigs. I still don’t know what causes it but I have lost a lot of money as a result of this disaster which I cannot estimate as at now,” said Mrs. Sambou.
She recalled that a similar incident occurred 5 years ago when she lost some pigs but that when she paid someone from Senegal to vaccinate the animals, the remaining ones did survive.
“This is a great economic loss to me because I normally sell the pigs to pay for the school fees of my children and solve other pressing personal needs. It is very painful to invest all what you have to rear pigs which you can sell in times of need only to see them perish before your own eyes,” she lamented.
Mary Mendy, a pig pen owner in Kotu, said she has lost almost D25, 000 as a result of the death of her pigs. She expressed her desperation owing to the fact that the last time when such a thing happened 5 years ago, she lost all her pigs despite the vaccinations given to them.
“One of my daughters is in grade eleven and has not yet paid her school fees and book bills because the pigs which I depended on to sell to raise the money are now all dead,” said Albertine Jarju, another piggery owner.
She explained that the death of her pigs which was a source of earning has devastated her and her family, especially the children whose education is entirely dependent on the proceeds of the piggery.
“I have lost 20 mature pigs which is a great economic disaster,” she lamented.
She also explained that someone used to come and vaccinate her pigs but that this year he did not turn up.
As for Mam Mendy of Old Jeshwamg, her pigs are dying in their numbers despite the vaccination administered on them. She said the outbreak has claimed the lives of all her pigs except eleven which now remain. “I have 2 big pigs which I will sell at D6000 each and 9 small ones which will go for D2000 each,” disclosed Mrs. Mendy.
“Apart from the income generation aspect of maintaining the pig pen, we also consume the pigs during Christmas feast,” she said.
Ya Therese Boissy, also a resident of Old Jeshwang confirmed that 18 of her pigs were found dead and that only 2 pigs are left. She also described the death of her piggeries as a great economic lost to the family as her husband is very old and presently ill and that it is the piggery which they rely on for their survival such as providing fish money and also paying the medical bills of her husband.
This reporter will contact the Department of Animal Health to find out whether they are aware of the outbreak of this disease and if so what measures should or have they put in place to ensure that the illness among the pig population in the area is tackled and controlled.