The USAID funded Livestock Market System (LMS) in Turkana has trained key stakeholders among them villagers and Ward Administrators and Community Disease Reporters, to become agents of behaviour change, with a view to maximizing livestock production.
The participants underwent a one-week training on community based Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBC) course that ended, Wednesday.
The County Deputy Director for Veterinary Services, Dr Jane Akal, said training sought to encourage pastoralists to embrace changes that would allow them to reap maximum economic benefits from their livestock.
Dr Akal who is also the focal person for LMS programs in Turkana County added that the design of the course allowed for empowering trainees on communicating the desired hygiene and infection prevention standards when handling animal products for trade purposes.
The one-week training was held concurrently in all the seven sub-county headquarters in the county.
She urged the trainees to use mobilization techniques learnt to pass on the behaviour change messages through public meetings at the grassroots level.
Akal said that some deep-seated cultural practices prevented local livestock from fetching competitive prices since residents would only submit them to the market for sale when emaciated by drought which makes them extremely cheap.
Sarah Nakusi, the Programme Officer of Social Behavioral Change, said that the course had integrated a component on identification and use of available communication channels at the grassroots level to access market and animal health interventions.
Nakusi added that the trainees will also be used as Trainers of trainers as plans are underway to engage them in training more grassroots influencers to drive the desired change.
John Emeripus the Director of Public Communication welcomed the training and said that they would provide an opportunity to correct misinformation about livestock treatment, access to animal vaccines.
The training comes at a time when the USAID funded Livestock Market System resilience-building program, is about to exit Turkana County, following the lapse of the five years project implementation in Turkana.
The Social Behaviour Change Component (SBCC), was championed by ACDI/VOCA.
Other programs under the USAID Livestock Market System in Turkana include; Ward Development Plan and girl empowerment program.
By Peter Gitonga