Livestock Research for Rural Development 23 (6) 2011 Notes to Authors LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Livestock-Producing Communities of Uganda: Case Studies of Moyo and Kashumba Sub counties

Charles Lagu, Anthony Mugisha*, and Lee M P K Koma*

Mbarara Zonal Agriculture Research and Development Institute, P.O.Box 389, Mbarara
* Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Box 7062, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


The study on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the livestock-producing communities of Uganda was carried out in Kashumba and Moyo sub counties. There was no clear data that supported the impact of HIV/AIDS situation on livestock producing communities as far as labour, decision-making, grazing and watering time and factors that could aggravate HIV/AIDS effects was concerned. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaire administration, focus group discussion, observation guides for social phenomena and review of secondary data. The study showed that there was reduction in the availability of labour for grazing and watering livestock in both Moyo (χ2=5.200, p=0.023) and Kashumba (χ2=13.958, p= 0.001); There was shift in decision-making and implementation from household heads who have died to surviving household members. There was significant negative changes in livestock grazing and sale of livestock products, Moyo (p= 0.019), (p=0.017), Kashumba (p= 0.009) and (p=0.041) in households affected by HIV/AIDS compared to those none affected. Furthermore, there was reduction in grazing and watering time for livestock activities, Moyo (p=0.005), Kashumba (p=0.003). It was observed generally, that daily animal source foods reduced drastically in the households affected by the HIV/AIDS.


The livestock husbandry practices that could aggravate the effects of HIV/AIDS included; rigours of grazing, spraying without protective wears leading to inhalation of the acaricide fumes, and consumption of drug residues in livestock products leading to drug resistance. The livestock plays a key role in household income and employment. The study recommended that livestock sector should plan ahead and work towards AIDS–competent communities in Uganda. This should enhance frequent community baseline assessment, community action strategies, and integrated plan for informing communities timely and effectively. Social cohesion should be strengthened and nutritional education should be directed to vulnerable groups and masses extensively sensitized on drug withdrawal periods, safe spraying and labour saving practices.

Keywords: AIDS competent communities, HIV/AIDS affected households, labour


HIV/AIDS was first recognized in Uganda in l982 (Coutinho 2003; Ministry of Health (MOH) and ORC Macro 2006). Meanwhile, doctors saw the first cases of a new, fatal wasting disease affecting communities in south western Uganda. This illness soon became locally known as ‘slim’. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has devastated the Africa continent, killing the youth and other sectors of the population in their prime productive age, when their families and countries most needed them (FAO 2001; NEMA 2002; Lamptey et al 2006).  This has led to diminished skilled human resource in key areas of agriculture, health, socio-economic and cultural development (Mugyenyi 2002). The Uganda economy depends on subsistence agriculture (MAAIF 2000; NEMA 2002; UBOS 2006); hence HIV/AIDS is a threat to sustainable agriculture and rural development through its systematic impact (FAO)/UNAIDS 1999; UNDP 2001; Afoakwa 2005). At the household level, HIV/AIDS can result in labour shortages and declining productivity, reduced income, increased expenditure on medical treatments and an increase in the dependency ratio due to the rise in number of dependants relying on a small number of productive family members (Haslwimmer 2000; Morton 2003; and Grellier et al 2004).


There are gaps in quantifying HIV/AIDS specific issues related to labour for livestock grazing and watering, decision-making, grazing and watering time, livestock food sources and livestock farming practices affecting livestock communities in Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties that have not been established in these two rural areas. Previous studies have focused mainly on human medical related concerns (Mugyenyi 2002). Although research was done in other socio-economic related areas including agriculture, crops and fisheries (NAADS 2003; Grellier et al 2004); there seems to have been little research on the impact of HIV/AIDS on livestock producing communities.  This research highlights information related to impact of HIV/AIDS in the rural areas of Uganda and thus fill the knowledge gap in these areas which had been lacking.


The study aimed to determine the impact of HIV/AIDS on livestock producing communities of Moyo and Kashumba Sub counties and with the following specific objectives: to establish the impact of HIV/AIDS on labour for livestock production; to investigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on decision-making for livestock production; to determine the impact of HIV/AIDS on grazing and watering time for livestock production; to establish the impact of HIV/AIDS on food security (animal source foods) variety and quantity; to profile livestock farming practices that might aggravate the effects of HIV/AIDS and to find out livestock household coping strategies of those affected by HIV/AIDS in a participatory manner.


The HIV/AIDS crisis has global, regional, national, as well as, local dimensions. Information generated here will widen the horizon for multi-sectoral approach towards addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in addition to medical and social dimensions of HIV/AIDS. It can also be used for mainstreaming HIV/AIDS concerns in livestock sector. The study selected Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties because of closeness in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of 5% and 6.9%, respectively and both communities were mixed livestock producing rural communities where research of this nature had not been conducted previously.


Materials and Methods


This was cross-sectional study which covered the period January 2007 through August 2008. It encompassed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Methodological triangulations using both qualitative and quantitative approaches were essential to generate appropriate data for the research results.


The study area


Moyo sub-county


This study was conducted in Moyo Sub-county, in Moyo District. Moyo District is located in the West Nile in the north western region of Uganda bordering the Republic of Sudan. The livestock populations in Moyo District numbers 30 949 cattle, 71 116 goats, 10 001 pigs and 84 289 chickens and other livestock include ducks, rabbits, pigeons and turkeys. As for Moyo Sub-County 3 755 cattle are kept by 899 households, 18 862 goats by 2 069 households, 1 106 sheep by 317 households and 4 014 pigs by 1 831 households. This translates on average to 4 cattle, 9 goats, 3 sheep and 2 pigs per household. The total numbers of households keeping livestock for Moyo Sub-County are 5,116 (Moyo District Planning Unit 2002; Moyo district Veterinary Department livestock census update 2004). Moyo Sub County has five parishes namely Aluru, Ebihwa, Vurra, Eria and Logoba which are broken down into 26 villages with a total of 5739 households and a population of 31 767 (15 932 males and 15 835 females) (Moyo District Planning Unit 2002). The livestock keeping households distribution in the sub county are; Aluru, 1430 households; Ebihwa (655), Eria (456); Logoba (1633) and Vura (942) households.


The Sub County is composed mainly of the Madi tribe who are primarily cultivators but keep livestock. Other tribes in the Sub County are Lugbara, Acholi and Reli. The refugee tribes in the area include Dinka, Kuku, Gbari, and Madi from Sudan who also keep livestock. The HIV/AIDS prevalence in the area is about 5.0 % compared to 6.4% of the national average (Moyo District Local Government report 2007).


Kashumba sub county


Kashumba sub county is found in Bukanga county, Isingiro District. Isingiro District is located in South Western Uganda.  Kashumba sub county borders the United Republic of Tanzania, with a total population of 19 431 at the 2002 census (9 670 males and 9 761 females). The Sub County is composed of the Bahima and Banyarwanda who are cattle keepers and are the major contributors of revenue to the Sub County. There are also Bakoki, Banyambo, Bakiga and Banyankore who are primarily cultivators but some keep few livestock. The cattle population in Kashumba sub county is 12 534 head of cattle, with a total of 5 123 households engaged in livestock activities, averaging about 3 cattle per household (Kashumba Sub county Local Government Profile Report 2005). The HIV/AIDS prevalence in the area is about 6.9% compared to 6.4% of the National average (Kashumba Sub county Local Government Profile Report 2005).


Sampling strategies and size


The study area namely district, county and sub-county were purposively selected to reveal the required information as per the objectives of the study.  The sampling frame constitutes the total number of households that spend at least 50% of their time daily to take care of livestock.  The calculated sample was then randomly selected from the sampling frame.


A 10% degree of error margin has been used (Taylor-powell 1998);

From n=N/(1+Ne2    ......(i)

n-desired sample; N-Total Population

Ne-Level of precision = 0.1


Moyo sub county


Substituting the values in the equation  (i).

n= 5116/(1+5116*0.12)  98.0 households for Moyo Sub county

Desired sample (n) = has been approximated to 100 households for Moyo Sub County.  In Moyo Sub County all the five parishes were sampled and the samples proportionately distributed as per the total number of households. The proportionate distributions of the samples in the parishes were Aluru, (28), Ebihwa, (13), Eria (9), Logoba (32) and Vura (18) households. The actual households in the parishes were selected by the lottery method in a random manner.


Kashumba sub county

n= 5123/(1+5123*0.12)  =  98.0 households for Kashumba Sub county

Desired sample (n) = has been approximated to 100 households for Kashumba Sub County.  In Kashumba Sub County all the three parishes were sampled and the samples proportionately distributed as per the total number of households. Kashumba, Murema and Kigaragara parishes had 51, 22, 27 samples, respectively. Two hundred questionnaires were administered in both Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties.


Data collection methods


Data were collected through triangulation of the various methods of data collection methods outlined below and the findings were used to address the specific objectives. Data were collected between the periods January 2007 through August 2008.


Personal interviewing using a questionnaire


A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to an adult member of the household available at that particular time of the data gathering process. Only one member of the household was interviewed by reading and interpreting the questions in local languages and responses recorded by researchers in English.




The presence of graves, ill health, signs of overgrazing due to limited time to graze animals far away and related coping survival activities at household levels were observed using a checklist and information related to HIV/AIDS generated, reduced, presented, cross tabulated and incorporated in the results for interpretation.


Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods


A focus group discussion checklist was used. The issues related to objectives of the study and the agreed issues were ranked and incorporated in the overall analysis of the study variables. The members of the focus groups were randomly selected from members of the households that were interviewed. The focus groups were divided into 8-10 members of same sex (females and males differently) so that they articulate their issues without gender bias.


Documentary review (review of secondary data)


The most important documents used included public documents, namely livestock and population census statistics for 2004 from Moyo and Kashumba sub counties, statistical year books for 2001 from Uganda Bureau of Statistics, archival records (2004) from the districts of Moyo and Isingiro and public libraries of the two districts. Others were personal documents, life histories (2002), and administrative documents (2004) and formal study reports from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like the AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) from Isingiro and Youth anti AIDS Support Organisation (YAASA) from Moyo district


Data analysis


All completed questionnaires were verified by cross checking the filled in questionnaires, edited and coded. Coded questionnaires were entered into the computer using the Statistical Package for the Social Scientists (SPSS) version 11 for further analysis to establish possible cause-effect relationship between the variables of the study.  The information generated here was integrated with the ones of qualitative findings.


Ethical considerations


HIV/AIDS is a highly sensitive topic which raises many ethical issues. Consent of people was first obtained through proper introduction of the research and its objectives, and the outputs of the study. The elders, household members, local council leaders and other stakeholders were briefed on the research study. Data on targeted individuals were kept private by the researcher thus ensuring that no one else had access to them by keeping them in a safe place.  The permission of the targeted people were sought and enhanced, especially when it came to focus group discussions. Individuals were identified using number codes or names depending on how comfortable the respondent felt with it.  The final research results were made available to all interested parties academics, households, policy-makers and other stakeholders.



Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of households


A total of 70% males were interviewed in Moyo compared to 38% in Kashumba. It was noted that 88.9% (Kashumba) and 92% (Moyo) of the respondent households were married.  Majority of the household heads in Moyo (79%) compared to Kashumba (28%) had multiple spouses.  The socio-economic characteristics of the households are detailed in table 1.


Table 1: Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents in Kashumba and Moyo sub counties

Socio-demographic characteristics of respondents

Kashumba sub county

Moyo sub county

Sex:  Males






Marital Status: Married

                           Not married





Household heads with multiple spouses



Household head with only one spouse



Information on sex, marital status and household heads with multiple and single spouses were captured from Kashumba and Moyo sub counties.


The households had 39% and 48% of Moyo and Kashumba respectively attaining educational level between primary five and seven as seen in Figure 1. It was noted that 20% Kashumba and 15% Moyo attained post primary level of education compared to 4% Kashumba and 2% Moyo who reached tertiary level.


Figure 1: Educational achievements of household members in Moyo and Kashumba

Others = falls in categories whose educational background could not be established.


The main sources of income for the households were livestock production (Figure 2). The other kinds of work the household members do to earn a living include retail trade, motorcycle (boda boda) business, brewing. The others include casual labour at a fee, sale of agricultural products, tomato growing. Additionally, stone quarrying, sand selling, grass selling; charcoal selling and military service are among other sources of income for different households.


Main source of income for households


Figure 2: Main source of income of the household members in Moyo and Kashumba.


Illness and HIV/AIDS situation in the households


It was noted that 93% for Moyo and 88% for Kashumba of the households had someone falling sick in the year 2006. The various sicknesses were included in Table 2. The study found out that 48%, 43% households in Moyo and Kashumba sub counties respectively falling sick due to HIV/AIDS related illness. A total of 19% Moyo, 14% suffered from malaria infections. The other diseases households prioritized were pneumonia, dysentery, ulcers, malnutrition to mention but a few.


Table 2. Illness and HIV/AIDS situation in the households

Types of sickness

Moyo sub county (%)

Kashumba sub county (%)







Other diseases



Tabular representation of illness and HIV/AIDS situation in the households of Moyo and Kashumba


A total of (83%) Moyo and (75%) Kasumba of the households had lost a close relative in the last three years respectively. The close relatives lost were husband, wife, father, child, sister, brother, mother, both parents.  Further still, a total of 94 % (Moyo) and 82% (Kashumba) of the households indicated that they were aware of the existence of HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS was a big threat in for Moyo and Kashumba communities. About 85 % of the respondents in Moyo and 66% in Kashumba indicated that the presence of HIV/AIDS in the households changed livestock practices in the past five years. HIV/AIDS resulted in sick people becoming weak thus unable to do rigorous jobs; the sick spending valuable time in hospitals caring for the sick, caring for orphans, and attending funerals; increased medical bills; selling animals to meet treatment costs; reduction in labour force leading to reduced animal production, thieves stealing animals because of lack of care by the owners who are bed ridden; increased risk of losing assets put up as collaterals for loans that cannot be repaid and high rates of school dropout, as children abandon their studies in order to help ensure household income and supply.


The extend of HIV/AIDS awareness in Moyo and Kashumba


It was noted that households in Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties had a lot of information on HIV/AIDS. Households mentioned unprotected sexual contact to be the main route of HIV/AIDS transmission. The respondents listed, abstinence, condom use, being faithful, limiting number of sexual partners, avoiding unsterilised injections, avoid kissing and treatment by traditional healers to be effective of preventative means. Households were concerned of sharing of the use of skin piercing instruments, especially false tooth-extraction in babies which was also noted to be highly dangerous as it could aid transmission of HIV infection.  In Moyo sub-county, village discos and dances, alcoholism, video filming, were promotive ways of HIV/AIDS because these activities gather young people together and hence make them engage in risky sexual behaviours. Poverty, especially among young generation people also exacerbated the HIV/AIDS problem.

The source of information on AIDS was said to be through public campaigns, mass media e.g., radio, newspapers, health education, counselling and testing, and training programs on HIV/AIDS in both Moyo and Kashumba.


HIV/AIDS support services among the study communities


A total of 88% (Moyo) and 82% (Kashumba) of the households indicated that they were aware of HIV/AIDS support services. Those reported to offer support services to the AIDS patients were as in the Venn diagram in Figure 3.


Figure 3: HIV/AIDS support services among the communities in Moyo and Kashumba


The assistance/support provided to HIV/AIDS affected households were in form of clothes, drugs/medicine, food, and money, anti-retro virals (ARVS), guidance and counselling, transport services, prayers and care when on sick beds. As shown in Figure 3, these services were provided by Non Governmental Organizations (NGOS) such as World Food Programme (WFP), the AIDS Support Organization (TASO), and the Uganda Women Support Organization (UWESO) and Action for Development and Education Organization (ADEO). Other community based associations include Youth anti AIDS support association (YAASA), Community HIV/AIDS initiative (CHAI) and Moyo HIV/AIDS Association (MAHA). Faith-based organizations (FBOs), churches and health centres equally provided help to affected HIV/AIDS individuals and families.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on labour for livestock production


The study found out that there was a significant reduction in the availability of labour for grazing and watering of livestock as evidenced by Pearson Chi-Square Moyo (χ2=5.200, p = 0.023), Kashumba (χ2=13.958, p = 0.001). The following were activities involved in livestock production: goat rearing, cattle grazing, watering of the animals, paddocking, making and repairing kraals, milking, and treatment of animals.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on decision-making for livestock related activities


There was significant change in decision-making and implementation for livestock grazing and sale of livestock products as illustrated by significance of (p=0.019) for decision-making and (p=0.017) for decision implementation for Moyo and (p=0.009) and (p=0.041) for Kashumba, respectively in households affected by HIV/AIDS.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on grazing and watering time for livestock


There was a significant reduction on the hours spent on grazing and watering before and after the households were affected by HIV/AIDS as evidenced by significance for Moyo (p=0.005), Kashumba (p<0.005). About 65% of households in Moyo and 62% in Kashumba confirmed that their grazing and watering time were negatively affected following the presence of HIV/AIDS in their homes. The livestock mainly access drinking water from Ebihwa and Kagyera rivers for Moyo and Kashumba sub counties, respectively.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on animal-source foods


Generally, households’ animal-source foods in Moyo and Kashumba decreased. In agreement with Gillespie et al (2004), 87.5% of respondents in Moyo and 58% in Kashumba indicated that HIV/AIDS had direct effects on animal-source foods. Forty-seven percent of the respondents in Moyo and 65% in Kashumba reported that foot and mouth diseases (FMD), trypanosomosis (nagana), contagious bovine pleuro pneumonia (CBPP) hit the sub county in the last five years. These diseases mainly affected cattle grossly resulting in decreased animal source foods in households affected by HIV/AIDS.


Livestock-producing practices in Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties


The livestock-producing practices aggravating the effects of HIV/AIDS on households were reported to be the rigour of grazing leading to exhaustion, cattle spraying without protective wears which may lead to the inhalation of toxic fumes of acaricides, consumption of livestock products with drug residues which may lead to drug resistance in HIV/AIDS patients under antibiotic treatments, high energy demanding livestock related activities such as cattle restraint during dehorning, castration). In Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties, 69% and 52% of the households respectively said they had knowledge on livestock related activities compared to 31% of the households that sought help from veterinary personnel.


Coping strategies of Moyo and Kashumba households affected by HIV/AIDS


The coping strategies households had adopted following the devastation of HIV/AIDS at individual level were; reduced working hours, feeding well (good nutrition), abstinence from sex at early age until properly married, sleeping under insecticide treated mosquito nets, and seeking for early treatment. The household level strategies include; seeking for support, joined national social security fund, households selling their own property, teaching one another about the HIV/AIDS and showing love to affected persons. At community level; orphans were taken up by certain organization, advice to the young ones, bringing up children as God fearers, use of other workers. Additionally, paying visits to the concerned households for care and advice, avoiding adultery and forming post-test clubs. The alternative income generating activities included borrowing money from money lending organizations, engaging in small retail business, growing vegetables and fruits, hand crafts making and rearing micro livestock such as poultry. These strategies apply for both Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties.


Role of livestock in mitigating the effects of HIV/AIDS


All the households (100%) in Moyo and 65% in Kashumba indicated that livestock contributed to household well-being as a main source of income, source of food (milk, meat, ghee, butter, eggs, cheese etc.) and employment opportunities.



Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of households and HIV/AIDS


There were more male headed households in Kashumba (70%) compared to Moyo (38%). Socio-cultural male dominance explains the situation in Kashumba a finding that is in agreement with observation by Afaokwa (2005).  This study found out that the majority of the men in Moyo exposed themselves to risky activities like extreme alcoholism, night dance discos, polygamy, and cultural wife inheritance. This exposed men in Moyo to higher chances of contracting the deadly HIV virus. Many of the men had also exposed themselves to multiple mixed serotypes infections due to multiple sexual partners (table 1), weakening their immunity hence high mortalities among men in Moyo leaving behind many female-headed households.


A study by Afoakwa (2005) reported that women generally were more at risk to HIV/AIDS infection than men. This was because of biological susceptibility of women. Other factors which could explain this scenario include; pregnancy, child bearing, social, economic and cultural inequalities of women. Additionally, culture of silence and passivity regarding sex, stigmatisation of women who try to access sexual transmitted diseases (STD) treatment services are other key factors.

The norm of virginity prohibiting adolescent girl’s access to information, risk of sexual coercion, economic vulnerability increasing the chance of exchange of sex for food and money. Nevertheless, sexual violence coupled with lack of community support to encourage female to build assets is yet another contributing factor. All these issues weaken women’ power to take decision to undertake effective demand for personal needs, health care, food intake and work time typical scenarios in Moyo and Kashumba sub counties.


This study found out that household heads had 39% and 48% of Moyo and Kashumba respectively attaining educational level between primary five and seven as seen in Figure 1. Majority of these households cannot access formal employment due to limitation in educational standards. These household heads therefore rely on informal employments. The limitation in educational levels among households has negative consequences on livelihoods especially among households affected by HIV/AIDS. A finding consistent with results by UBOS (2009). The education and household income levels are important vulnerability factors that can directly and indirectly influence the spread of HIV/AIDS. Low levels of education and income weakens individuals’ capacity to meet needs. Failure to meet basic needs exposes individuals’ vulnerability to exchange sex for food, clothes and money. Ability to meet needs must be grounded with high level of good behaviours otherwise; flushing money here and there in exchange for sex can exposes individuals to HIV/AIDS due to multiple hetero-sexual partners a situation precarious in Moyo and Kashumba sub-counties.


The results of the present study showed that communities were aware of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, its causes, and modes of spread and factors that could expose them to infections. It was also clear that the communities recognised that HIV/AIDS had social, economic and cultural negative effects. They recognised that various support services provided by NGOs, CBOs and community buffering initiatives were essential to bolster the households affected by HIV/AIDS.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on Household Labour for livestock production


The study found out that there was significant reduction on labour for grazing and watering animals yet labour is a key factor in livestock development. Kitalyi et al (2005) argued that many technologies developed for improving livestock feeding and other husbandry practices are more labour-intensive. The reduction in labour has led to sale of animals, livestock not be grazed and watered on time, decline and death of livestock, loss of income, loss of skilled labour, reduced labour force, loss of livestock-producing advice and loss of indigenous technical knowledge (ITK). In agreement with the results, NAADS (2003) reported it was difficult to quantify the effects of knowledge loss due to HIV/AIDS. However, there appears to be less utilization of ITK and more reliance on modern methods. Haslwimmer (2000) reported that there was irregular, reduced or non-attendance of agricultural seminars leading to reduced access to disseminated extension messages and less utilization of improved husbandry practices resulting in lowered livestock productivity; this has negative consequences in terms of livelihood to resource-poor persons yet labour is a factor of production.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on Household Decision-making for livestock production


The study showed that there was significant reduction in decision-making and implementation among farmers in Moyo and Kashumba. The activities for which decision-taking were sought include communal grazing and watering of animals. Others include spraying/ dipping, deworming, milking, kraal making and repairs, paddocking, calf rearing, dung collection, digging wells. (UBOS 2006) reported that women contribute a lot to household production. However, decision-making at household level is in many cases a man’s preserve particularly in the male dominated society an issue in agreement with the findings of Kitalyi et al (2005).


Decision-making is important in livestock development and economy. The lack of timely decision-making leads to delayed husbandry practice affecting livestock farmers in Moyo and Kashumba. This led to lowered production and mortalities in livestock; this has direct implications on the livelihood of the households. This was even made worse by the vulnerability caused by the presence of HIV/AIDS in those households. It was observed that, there was significant relationship between shift in household decision-making and implementation (Moyo; p=0.019 for decision making and p=0.017 for decision implementation; Kashumba; p=0.009 for decision making and p=0.041 for decision implementation) comparing affected and non affected households with HIV/AIDS.  The affected households had negative consequences in this shift to surviving members of the households.

Garforth et al (2005)  established that knowledge and information exists within people who are exposed to it through observations, talking with other farmers, listening to the radio, attending seminars or training activities, or other resources. This experience is lost through death of the households typical scenerios in Moyo and Kashumba. Decision making is a managerial function even at the family and household level.

Improving the access of households to information and greater participation in the creation of knowledge can make an important contribution to their empowerment. For this to happen, research systems, extension and advisory services and individual professionals must change the approaches in which they interact with livestock producers, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS because of their vulnerability (NAADS 2003).


Impact of HIV/AIDS on Watering and Grazing time for livestock production


The study found that there was a significant reduction on the hours spent on grazing and watering before and after the households were affected by HIV/AIDS as evidenced by significance for Moyo (p=0.005), Kashumba (p=0.003). There is little time allocated for grazing and watering of animals. Tumwine (2005) documented that HIV/AIDS deprives individual’s time to engage in productive activities. Hence for livestock farmers there is increased tendency by animal owners to utilize nearby grazing areas and water points. This puts pressure on the nearby grazing areas and watering points. These areas are foci of pasture degradation. The limited time for access of watering points and grazing time leads to poor nutritional status, leading to reduced production and productivity for the herds at household level, a case observed by Kajura (2001). National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) (2003) documented that affected men with HIV/AIDS who fell sick spend less time grazing and watering their animals. NAADS (2003) found in households around the Lake Victoria Crescent agro-ecological zone that women hire labour mainly to dig wells for watering animals, but to do so they had to sell some animals; they also sell cattle to buy grazing and watering rights from neighbours, this kind of scenario is very rare in Moyo and Kashumba Sub-counties. Wheeler (1996) observed that for  an adult milking cow to eat about 3.4-3.7% of her body weight in dry matter daily and maximum dry matter intake (DMI) depends on continuous access to fresh, clean cool water. Water should be provided in a well lit area within 15 metres of the feed bank. This situation of desired production levels gets complicated with members of households being affected by HIV/AIDS. The overall effect is lowered production in livestock with dare consequences on income sources and livelihood.


Impact of HIV/AIDS on animal-source foods for Moyo and Kashumba communities


Generally, household’s animal-source foods in Moyo and Kashumba declined. These products include milk, ghee (for Kashumba only), beef, pork, chicken and eggs. In this study, the impact ranged from reduction in quantity and quality consumed to absolute lack of these products and household insufficiency in agreement with Gillespie at al (2004). Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO 2001) recommended that an individual person should drink about 200 litres of milk/ year and eat 50 kg of meat per year. The consumption of meat and milk among the members in the households of Moyo and Kashumba sub- counties was below FAO recommendations. The findings of this study concurs with the results by UBOS 2001 who found that an average per capita milk and meat consumption in Uganda were 40 litres of milk and 2 kg of meat per person  per year respectively (UBOS, 2001).


The results of NAADS 2003 found out that; households had lost self-sufficiency in food, and the situation of food insecurity worsened in households that fostered orphans or the bread winner died due to HIV/AIDS scourge. This particular study has documented the different animal-source foods consumed by these households. According to Wilson et al (2005), the consumption of meat and meat products alleviates some common nutritional deficiencies. The workers reported that most national dietary guidelines recommend a reduction in cholesterol intake, with maximum ingestion of 300 mg per day. The impact of HIV/AIDS on households’ members in Moyo and Kashumba limits the availability of these animal-source foods in right quantities, quality, time and access.


Livestock-producing practices that might aggravate the effects of HIV/AIDS


The livestock producing practices aggravate the HIV/AIDS among households by causing stress. This is due to the effects of rigourous activities like cattle grazing, kraal making and repairs. These livestock activities are labour intensive.  Stress weakens the immune system. The weakening of the immune system leads to susceptibility to opportunistic infections an issue that concurs with the observations by Mugyenyi (2002) and Coutinho (2003).


The lack of use of protective wears during cattle spraying leads to inhalation of toxic fumes of the acarides. Toxicity in the body is associated with poisoning compromising the immune system and other physiological functions of the body like the liver, heart, kidney and lungs. The effect of the toxins affects the body negatively and causes immune suppression.

Further still, it was noted that there was less strict adherence to withdrawal periods of drugs administered to cattle, goats and chicken. These drugs are mainly sulphonamides and other basic antibiotics commonly used by the farmers in disease management of their livestock. We know that sulphonamides especially cotrimoxazole (septrinŽ) is an essential antibiotics in HIV/AIDs patients treatment. It is the main drug used to treat and to prevent PCP (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, now called Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia). The lack of supervision and control in ensuring that withdrawal periods are followed in the various forms of livestock leads to gradual accumulation of sub-doses of the antibiotics in beef, goat’s meat, chicken and eggs. These products get consumed by the individuals with resultant possibility of drug residue resistance in those persons. This situation in worsened in individuals on cotrimoxazole (septrinŽ) therapy for AIDS patients.  


Coping strategies of Moyo and Kashumba households affected by HIV/AIDS


The coping strategies adopted by households in order to keep alive were categorised into individual, household, community and income generating. The households in Moyo and Kashumba responded differently due to the effects of HIV/AIDS.

UBOS (2006) reported use of savings, reduction in consumption and informal borrowing as ways households opted for coping with the effects of HIV/AIDS. NAADS (2003) documented some of the labour saving, income saving and expenditure controls to household needs that are basic.  Other mechanisms were related to nutrition and food related coping strategies. The use of community responses as coping, mechanisms was highlighted. This information is in agreement with the findings by Haslwimmer 2000. The study noted that the household coping strategies were spontaneous responses by the individuals within the households to mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS to ensure continued survival.


Conclusion and Recommendations









We are grateful to Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) for funding the research activities. We also extend our appreciation to extension workers of Moyo and Kashumba for helping in the study, especially during data gathering process.  Special regards go to late Drs. Gilbert Molumasi and Posiano Asiimwe (RIP) who helped in data collection in Moyo and Kashumba. We appreciate the farmers, elders and opinion leaders of Moyo and Kashumba for being cooperative in availing us with the information for the study. The role of Dr. TR Preston in ensuring that the paper was reviewed is highly appreciated.


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Received 16 December 2010; Accepted 24 March 2011; Published 19 June 2011

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