The Garissa County government through the ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has launched a month long mass vaccination campaign of livestock targeting over 250,000 animals.
Addressing the press at the Agricultural Training Center (ATC) in Garissa town today livestock CEC Mohamed Shale said during the exercise 150,000 shoats (goat and sheep) are to be vaccinated against Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP). Over 100,000 head of cattle will receive Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) jabs.
Shale said alongside the vaccination exercise all the animals will be de-wormed and sprayed to control pests and ticks.
The CEC said the vaccination was occasioned by last year’s mass flooding occasioned by the rains that are normally associated with the fatal animal diseases.
He said the exercise will be mostly confined to six wards of the six sub counties of Lagdera, Dadaab, Balambala, Fafi, Holugho and Ijara.
“Although the exercise has been planned for one month, we want to end it as soon as possible in order to cushion our livestock farmers against the devastating effects of these diseases in case of an outbreak,” Shale said.
“If the teams conclude their exercise in their respective zones, it is our hope that they are going to reach more numbers in the neighbouring wards. This first round will cover 20 rural wards and in the second round we will cover the remaining 19,” he added.
The exercise is a partnership with National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Save the Children, Kenya Resilient Project, Kenya Market System and the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture project.
“The contribution of these partners before now and going forward is truly invaluable and is one that needs to be strengthened even more because as a county we can do very little on our own,” Shale said.
He urged the technical staff that will be involved in the exercise to work closely with the livestock farmers to achieve maximum result.
“We don’t want to leave gaps because doing so will interfere with our planning and more seriously will lead to loss of livestock. Livestock farmers should fully cooperate and present their animals in designated vaccination areas,” he said.
The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey lauded the county’s move to carry out the mass vaccination noting that it will go a long way to ensuring that livestock in the area are disease free.
He said that livestock being the economic mainstay, any slightest outbreak could lead to closure of livestock markets, and thus have devastating effects on the lives of the area residents.
“Livestock sector is a sensitive area. Any outbreak could lead to quarantine and closure of markets. Over 90 percent of area residents depend directly or indirectly on livestock. If we cannot sell or buy our livestock then we are doomed,” Amey said.
By Jacob Songok