Mandera County Department of Livestock Production has rolled out a mass vaccination campaign to rid the region of animal diseases.
The seven-day exercise which kicked off on Monday will be carried out in areas deemed to be prone to constant livestock disease outbreaks.
The exercise is being carried out by the department of livestock and veterinary services in partnership with the Danish Refugee Council under Boresha consortium and the Regional Pastoral and Livelihoods Resilience Project.
Mandera South and Mandera West sub counties have been earmarked for the exercise where some 430,000 goats and sheep will receive the jab which aims at eradicating the Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) disease.
While officially launching the programme, Deputy Director Veterinary Services Dr. Claudio Sortum said that eradication of PPR is important because an outbreak causes high mortalities.
“Livestock is the backbone of our economy. And so as a county we will do everything possible to make sure that our farmers do not incur losses. Animal health service delivery is a key component of the livestock sector which greatly contributes to the local economy,” said Dr. Sortum.
Mandera South and Mandera West sub counties are the hardest hit areas by Peste des petits disease in Mandera County.
He said the exercise will go a long way in building immunity, safeguarding household food security and curbing transmission of diseases.
Danish Refugee Council Livelihood Manager Ali Issack urged residents to vaccinate their animals in large numbers.
He said four vaccination teams have been dispatched in the two sub counties to curb further losses of animals.
Building Opportunities for Resilience in the Horn of Africa (BORESHA) is a European Union programme aimed at promoting economic development and greater resilience, particularly among vulnerable groups in Mandera.
Last week, area governor Ali Roba, while commissioning two irrigation schemes that are meant to boost food security in the area, urged more residents to venture into crop farming saying that the county would continue supporting the group.
Roba said time has come for pastoralists to try their hand at farming, noting that the ever changing climate was negatively impacting on livelihoods.
By Dickson Githaiga