Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Drinking unprocessed milk to become illegal

By Mubatsi Asinja Habati

Uganda has earned itself a reputation of enacting hilarious laws. This time round it is not about noise, and not pornography nor smoking in neither public places nor the scantly dressed girls on roads of Kampala. It is about drinking milk. And to be precise drinking unprocessed milk will soon become illegal and thus criminal.

The Dairy Development Authority (DDA) in partnership with the Uganda Dairy Processors Association is pushing for a law that will ban the drinking of unprocessed milk. The executive director of DDA, Dr. Nathan Twinamatsiko says the move is intended to protect milk consumers from spending on infections they would get from drinking unprocessed milk.

Statistics show that 80 per cent of the milk produced in Uganda is unprocessed. But it is yet to be understood if this bulk of milk would be handled by the few milk processing firms in the country.
1.5 million litres of milk are produced daily in Uganda but only 20 per cent of it is processed. By the end of 2007, 12 milk processing plants were operational and handling a total of 121,600 litres per day.

At the same time DDA has started a three-month campaign to promote the drinking of processed milk that will first be piloted in the central region. The campaign which is dabbed "Why Processed Milk", targets parents, school children and care-givers in Kampala schools.

If enacted, the law joins quite a myriad of amusing regulations in the country like the one slapping a caveat on wearing mini-skirts, exhibiting pornographic materials, noise and arresting parents who have failed to feed their children that mainly exist on paper.

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