Garissa county government will from tomorrow start mass livestock vaccination exercise targeting over one million animals in the area.
Speaking today at Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) in Garissa town ahead of the official launch tomorrow, livestock CEC Mohamed Shale said priority would be given to the four worst hit sub-counties of Hulugho, Daadab, Lagdera and Balambala.
“In these same sub-counties, we shall further narrow them down to the worst hit wards currently afflicted with livestock diseases,” Shale said.
“We are looking to vaccinate first, some 500,000 livestock in the most affected areas of Hulugho, Daadab, Lagdera and Balambala sub-counties within the next two weeks,” he added.
Shale said the vaccination will also involve treatment and deworming of sick animals. The animals targeted include cattle, goats, sheep, camels and donkeys.
The CEC said the sustained vaccination exercise that has been going on for the past three years is aimed at boosting livestock market, saving farmers herds and boosting their earnings.
“Animal health service delivery is a key component in the livestock sector which is our economy’s backbone and contributes to the local economy. We will do everything possible to make sure that our farmers do not incur losses,” he said.
Shale decried the recent locust invasion and a fast-worsening drought situation that he noted had changed grazing patterns and in turn put the livelihoods of over 60 per cent of Garissa residents at risk.
The county director of livestock services Dr Haret Hambe called for a synchronized vaccination programme.
Dr Hambe said a well-coordinated vaccination exercise would help stop the spread of diseases occasioned by pastoralists crossing borders with their animals in search of water and pasture.
The director said, ‘it would be an exercise in futility to vaccinate animals in one county and ignore neighbouring counties where inter county livestock movement occurs’.
Last week, Governor Ali Korane urged pastoralists to take advantage of the exercise and avail their animals for vaccination as well as treatment that he said would go a long way in building immunity of livestock and increasing productivity and income.
Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chair Dubat Amey called on county governments to ensure that the recent council of Governors’ declaration of allocating at least 10 per cent of the county budget to agriculture and livestock is implemented.
Amey said the sector was a key economic driver and one which many families across the country depended on.
Bashir Muhumed, the County Coordinator of Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) together with Abdinoor Dubow, County Coordinator NDMA, reiterated their organisations’ continued commitment to work with the county government by availing drugs and other essentials whenever need arises.
The two organisations together alongside FAO are supporting the vaccination campaign.
by Jacob Songok