Hundreds went without milk as several milk cooling plants in the city were closed on Monday because of poor hygienic conditions.
The milk collection centers did not meet the required standards set for operating in Kigali City. Many lacked tiles both on the wall and the floor, running water and toilet facilities.
The milk cooling points affected were mostly in Remera, Giporoso and Kabeza, leaving some to go without milk or travel long distances to buy it.
“We have had trouble getting milk in Kabeza and we are now forced to go long distances in order to have milk at our table,” Mary Mukamuganga lamented as both city and veterinary officials went about padlocking the premises.
Dr. Théogène Rutagwenda, Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) director general, said 10 milk selling points had been closed by press time.
RARDA is a government agency responsible for the quality of animal products in the country.
Rutagwenda said circulars detailing the minimum hygiene standards for their business premises were issued in 2006.
“In 2007 we visited them to see whether they had implemented them,” Rutegwenda said. Innocent Kamali who runs a dairy farm in Mutara, welcomed the move saying that consumers have to be protected.
“Milk is a perishable and high standards are required for a successful, profitable dairy industry. The milk leaving the farm must be of good quality and be uncontaminated by bacteria.
To a marked degree, this quality depends on the methods of milking and storage at the selling points,” Kamali said.