They have such a lightning speed that you barely see them until you realise your car screen is glowing with fatty acids and glycerol emanating from the seemingly innocent steaks of meat being swung around thanks to these hard working 14-30 year old likes. With the Newvision of 1st Feb 2013 quoting Unemployment rate in Uganda to be at 63%, wouldn’t you be heartless to blame these young people from trying to make ends meet through this business? At every bus stop, you will most likely as hell find these stop overs for refreshments and boy, how friendly they are! They will encourage you to buy their goods with a big smile, some promising to give you a big discount! Un surprisingly, you will not miss to see the seemingly matures and toddlers too jumping up and down, sometimes screaming at the top of their lungs to catch your attention. Poultry, goat, cow meat is the commonest type you will most likely encounter. If you apply logic, you might come to a conclusion that these young people actually have poultry, goat, cow projects back in their homes. How I wish?
Now, that’s not a problem?
Meat has a lot of its share of challenges. For meat to be meat, environmentalists, animal husbandry specialists and safety experts will concur that meat production is a process involving safe handling of the animal from the time it enters the slaughter house to when its eaten. Looking at the environmental pollution of the major roads in Uganda, and the standards of the kitchens where this meat is prepared, will have you wondering whether the Ministry of Health structures including its staff are on the ‘visionary’ end. A real public health ministry would in the first case never allow individuals to be selling meat on the streets, the way its done! Who monitors the health status of these individuals? What about the animals slaughtered? Is the meat ready for consumption? I find it shameful to the corporate institutions who’ve given these meat vendors uniforms for identification instead of finding a better way to give them alternatives. As you might have seen, some practices are very archaic:-when one wants to find out whether the meat is warm or cold, they will ofcourse use the back of their hands to ‘feel the warmness and the coldness. In less than 20 Seconds, about 10 dirty hands have touched the same meat, and if you are unlucky enough, you will be the 11th person who goes for this steak! The diarrhoea-like problems that will start henceforth might culminate into advanced food poisoning and you know the rest that will follow. What about the sanitory facilities of these stop overs? The back rooms are most often gonna be covered with bread from flying toilets:-if you know what I mean? Look around for safe water, and what you will find is a pond. Look at the personal hygiene of the meat vendor, and you will find them sweaty from head to toe (although this could as well be because of our weather) but there is no excuse of unkept long dirt filled finger nails, dirty clothes which sometimes they use to hold the meat as they look for change to give you back!
With due respect, if you are eating road side meat, you could as well say you eat real animal and human shit! And now, you need to see a clinician for a number of tests including worm infestation. Having a stomach distention may not show how rich a man is after all and young women with protruding stomachs may not be pregnant either. No offense