David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
For some decades now, there has not been any modern abattoir in the industrial community of Nnewi, in Anambra State, despite the geometric increase of its population and meat consumption.
What the butchers could afford are slaughterhouses that are littered around some of the markets and other private places without wholesome sanitary condition.
Investigation reveals that some of the butchers slaughter their animals, especially goats in the bush using condemned motor vehicle tires to process them where they are not checked by any health official without minding the health hazard consumers of such meats are exposed to.
Whether the veterinary department of Nnewi North Local Government Area knows about that or not is a question left unanswered. But this practice is done with impunity without anybody raising an eyebrow.
Worried about government neglect of the meat traders, Chairman of Nnewi Butchers Association, Chief Amobi Nnoruka said that the butchers had made several appeals to both the state and Nnewi North Council Area to come to their rescue and provide them with modern abattoir to no avail.
He said all government could do was to provide the butchers with borehole water which the traders were expected to maintain. Without mincing words, Nnoruka said it is the duty of government to make available modern abattoirs for the meat dealers based on the fact that the butchers were also major contributors to the internally generated revenue base in Anambra State. Outside the issue of abattoirs, Chief Nnoruka said other infrastructural facilities that were ancillary to the butchers’ business like access roads and toilet facilities were not there, that even a toilet the butchers built was demolished by government with the promise of a new one, a promise yet to be fulfilled “because government does not show interest.
“We want them to fulfill their campaign promises. Successive governments come and go without looking at the direction of the butchers in terms of providing us with modern abattoir and other necessary facilities that will complement our business activities.
“We pay workers who clean our slaughter house, but the best bet for us is to have a modern and standard abattoirs like other butchers in other places. To get the abattoirs will run into millions and we cannot that as individuals. So, we hope on government as we continue to contribute to internally generated revenue both at the State and local government levels, “ Chief Nnoruka said.