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Government told to intensify livestock disease surveillance efforts

Goats watering at Lodwar livestock market. Photo by Peter Gitonga

National Drought Management authority has recommended scaling up of livestock disease surveillance by the government and a mass vaccination campaign to combat livestock diseases in Turkana county.
In its December bulletin released by County Drought Information Officer Mr. Dennis Mosioma, the Authority said high worm load was reported across most places in the county with some incidents of Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) being reported in Nachukui and Lorugum.
“Intensify disease surveillance efforts in areas prone to CCPP and other endemic diseases while focusing on animal health by providing essential veterinary services through mass vaccination drives and treatment where applicable,” said Mosioma.
Turkana county, according to the bulletin experienced rainfall with a temporal distribution of 2-3 days culminating with cessation during the month of December.
The cumulative rainfall for the 6-month period covering July to December 2018 represents only 29 percent of the rainfall normally received within that duration.
However, no livestock death has been reported in the county.
The return trekking distance to water source from grazing areas reduced by 1.2km to 6.1km from that reported during the month of November.
The distance was lower than the long term average distance by twenty four percent.
The shortest distance was reported along the Fisheries livelihood zone with the Pastoral zone reporting the longest distance.
At the same time, the price of cattle dropped by 22 percent because of the deteriorating body condition with a four year old medium sized bull selling at Sh 16,000.

The price of goats averaged at Sh 2,950 with the highest being Sh. 3,420 and lowest 2,670.
The price of a 4-year old camel remained relatively unchanged from that reported during the month of November.
“The observed stability could be attributed to absence of any significant production pull/push factors that could influence the price during the month under analysis.
The highest price of Sh.26, 555 was reported in the Pastoral livelihood zone with the least price of Sh. 25,000 being reported along the Agro Pastoral livelihood zone,” Mosioma said.
The county is in the alert phase.
There are five drought early warning phases categorized as normal, alert, alarm, emergency and recovery.

In addition, the authority has recommended for a scale up mass screening and integrated medical outreaches while providing health education on sanitation to areas that have been identified to be having high disease incidents and malnutrition rates across the county.
To enhance water availability to vulnerable population in the county, the authority recommends repair of broken down water facilities such as boreholes especially in areas with high livestock concentration along migratory corridors.
Musioma added there is need to reduce pressure on grazing resources and protect livelihoods by offering advisory support, capacity strengthening on community utilization of dry season grazing reserves while conducting rehabilitation of market infrastructure.

By Peter Gitonga

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