The Lake Basin region is still prone to sleeping sickness and efforts must be made to eradicate the tsetse fly that causes the disease, the chief executive officer Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council (KENTTEC), Dr Pamela Olet has said.
Dr Olet called for continuous vigilance against the fly that also causes Nagana among livestock hence affecting the country’s food security.
The CEO was speaking at Misori Crush Pen in Bondo Sub County when she led the KENTTEC board in presiding over the mass spraying of livestock in the area.
She said that mass spraying of livestock was the most effective way to control tsetse menace as the sprayed animals act as moving target covering a large area thus reducing tsetse density in the grazing areas.
Dr Olet said that there was need for livestock stakeholders to partner with KENTTEC to combat Nagana and sleeping sickness, adding that it might be expensive and unaffordable for farmers to effectively deal with the flies individually.
“A litre of one insecticide goes for Sh6, 000 which is too expensive for an individual,” she said adding that the government was committed to helping farmers deal with the menace.
Lake Victoria regional KENTTEC coordinator Benard Chemweno said the organisation was committed to help local farmers in line with the government’s agenda on food security.
“We are in Siaya County to sensitise farmers against Nagana and sleeping sickness since we are not yet off the hook,” said Chemweno.
The local community, through a member of the Misori Crush pen, Alex Okoth hailed the government for continuous support in combating the spread of tsetse fly, adding that farmers incur a lot of expenses whenever their animals fall sick.
Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council (KENTTEC) is a state corporation under the ministry of agriculture, livestock and fisheries whose core mandate is to coordinate eradication of tsetse flies in the country, set standards and mitigate the socio economic constraints brought about by tsetse flies.
By Philip Onyango