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Uganda: Luuka Pupils Shun Classes Over Stray Dogs

Primary school-going children in Bukanga Sub-county, Luuka District are shunning lessons following an influx of stray dogs.

The dogs, which reportedly prowls the area during day and night, have elicited fear among residents, especially the pupils and parents.

Ms Robinah Wenene, a parent at Budondo Primary School, attributed the increase in dogs to sugarcane plantations in the district, which she says are a hideout for the dogs.

She said the dogs have been there for the past five months but were ignored by leaders.

"Although authorities insist on vaccinating domestic dogs, wild dogs are left out," she said.

The head teacher of Budondo Primary School, Mr G eorge Menya, declined to comment, referring to the District Education Officer.

Education officials

Mr Francis Kamyuka, the DEO, on Monday said pupils' attendance is not good but is promising. "Since the term begun, class attendance has not matched the enrollment levels," he said.

Adding: "It is true stray dogs are in the area and just like sugarcane cutting has contributed to school dropout rates in the district."

The Bukanga Sub-county chairperson, Mr George Kagweri, said this is not the first time stray dogs are biting people in Luuka.

"Every year, stray dogs bite people, with the first incident this year being witnessed at my home; but luckily enough no death was reported. We are going to hunt them down because we do not want people to lose their lives," he said.

Mr Bakali Iluba, the chairperson of Budondo 'A' Village, said the residents are to blame for the escalation of the stray dogs.

"A survey carried out in February, amid protests from some families, found out that almost every household in Bukanga Sub-county had a dog.

"After noticing that locals are keeping dogs on a large scale, we asked the district veterinary officer to start a mass vaccination of the dogs which is ongoing," he said.

The Luuka District Veterinary Officer, Mr Charles Batyame, also blamed the influx of stray dogs on the increase in sugarcane plantations.

Leaders speak out

Mr Muhammad Isabirye, the Budondo Parish chairperson, said locals were warned against keeping dogs on a large scale but they refused to take heed.

"The excuse we get from them [locals], is that dogs offer security to their homes. These dogs would not have resorted to biting people if their handlers were feeding them well," he said.


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