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The sorry state of Anambra abattoirs


Sept. 20, 2019

Butchers in Anambra state are operating under unhygienic conditions, exposing consumers to diseases, an investigation by South East Trust has shown.
Our correspondent, who visited some of the abattoirs in Awka, the state capital, found that all of them lack the necessary facilities for smooth and healthy operation.
While some of them lack basic equipment and facilities such as slaughter house and cold room others do not have basic necessities such as water.
In some there is no proper facility for the disposal of wastes thereby creating an unhealthy environment and exposing the meat to bacteria.
At the abattoir located at Awka South South East Trust discovered it lack basic facilities for smooth and healthy operation.
The abattoir, owned and operated by  Obinwanne Butchers Associatio, started operation in 1973.
Our correspondent reports that the facility can only boast of constant running water courtesy a borehole built by a former chairman of the local council.
However, the environment is dirty and littered with bones and other animal wastes with no  proper drainage while the animals are being slaughtered on bare floor.
The slaughter house, built many years ago, was only recently roofed by the local government council.
The chairman of the abattoir,Chief Obiora Onyewuchi said facilities are deteriorating despite the huge money they pay to various government agencies.
“We pay for veterinary services, sanitation fees and others every day. The sanitary people just come here every day to collect their money and do not care about our situation. We do not have waste disposal facility, we hire tippers to pack the wastes.
“Our slaughter house is not in order, the compound is being ravaged by
flood and it is  swampy and marshy. We don’t  have proper drainage system that waste could be channeled through. We don’t have a  cold room and other facilities associated with modern abattoirs,” he said.
He appealed to the government to assist them to build standard and modern abattoirs in the state.
Also speaking ,the secretary of Obinwanne Butchers Association, Chinwe Nwaogu, said they were forced to operate on their own without any assistance from government.
According to him, the association has made several presentations to the government for assistance to have a befitting and modern abattoirs but to no avail.
“You can see the environment by yourself, it is not a modern abatoir” he said.
He said the sanitary inspectors come to the abattoirs everyday day mainly to collect their money without adding  any meaningful value to the environment.
“We have been seeing pictures of modern abattoirs in other places and  how they look. We appeal to the government to come and renovate or build standard abattoirs for us” he added.
It is the same story at Chisom Abattoirs in Awka North as the facility lacks  facilities and decent environment.
The facility does not have running water, waste disposal facility and the surrounding is overgrown with grass.
As a result of lack of good access road processed meat is being carried on motorcycles to the markets.
The chairman of the abattoir Mr. Simeon Alunma , told South East Trust that they are having challenges of storage facilities.
He said veterinary officers come to the abattoir  every day for inspection of animal before it is slaughtered.
The Director of Environmental Health and Pollution Control  in the  Ministry of  Environment, Mrs Edet Ike declined to speak  to our reporter when contacted.
She said he needed the pemission of the commissioner before she could speak on the issue.
“I cannot  talk on the issues unless the commissioner gave me authority to do so. You can see the commissioner yourself or you do a letter to the commissioner to permit me to talk on the issue,” she said.
The commissioner was not in the office when our eporter went to seek for his comment.
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