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Drought blamed for high livestock mortality in Turkana

Turkana County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries George Emoru has blamed the ongoing drought for high livestock mortality.

Turkana County is among the 24 counties that have experienced drought due to failure of rains since last year.

With rains, less than 60 per cent of the 40-year average across most of Kenya, widespread livestock deaths, minimal livestock productivity, very low cropping levels, and sharp declines in purchasing power are creating large food consumption gaps and high levels of acute malnutrition. Emoru also attributed livestock deaths to animal diseases.

Speaking when he chaired a stakeholders meeting in Lodwar to draw a roadmap over eradication of tsetse fly along the Kenya-Uganda border, Emoru said a team from the Pastoral Economy department as well as officials from Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council (KENTTEC) would be combating tsetse fly infestation in Turkana west Sub County this week. The KENTTEC team is led by regional coordinator Sylvia Korir.

“The team will proceed to Turkana West for a week-long exercise where they will be laying insecticide treated tsetse targets in Nawountos and Oropoi belts to help stem tsetse fly infestation as well as capacity County Government’s staff on its control for sustainability,” said Emoru.

He said the exercise would reduce mortality rates on livestock that had been worsened by the prolonged drought experienced early this year and in the year 2021.

He underscored the importance of the exercise in enhancing disease control and added that Turkana was vulnerable to both human and Transboundary Animal Diseases due to its location at three international borders. The county borders Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

KENTTEC is a State Corporation that was gazetted in July 2012 by the Government of Kenya as a successor to the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC). The council’s mandate is to eradicate tsetse flies and Trypanosomiasis from Kenya.

They are controlling tsetse flies which are a vector of protozoa parasites that cause Trypanosomiasis/Nagana disease in livestock resulting in huge economic losses from cost of drugs and death of animals.

The County team which included Chief Officer Abdulahi Yusuf and Director Benson Long’or were taken through the process of traps laying for tsetse fly.

Representatives from Lokado and Livestock Marketing System were also present.

By Peter Gitonga and Fammy Masiza

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