The Star (Nairobi)

4 October 2012

Kenya: FAO to Fund Vaccination of Livestock in North Rift

The Food and Agricultural Organisation will fund the vaccination of livestock to eradicate diseases which have killed more than 2,000 animals in the Rift Valley region in the last three months.

Director of Veterinary Benard Moenga says experts from the African Union will also support the three-month exercise that will cost more than Sh20 million.

He said more than 1 million animals will be vaccinated in Turkana, Pokot, Samburu and Baringo among others where cases of anthrax and goat plague and other diseases have been reported.

An anthrax outbreak was reported in Turkana North where it has claimed more than 100 animals while the PPR (peste des petitis ruminants) has ravaged parts of Pokot and Marakwet.

Assistant Livestock minister Linah Kilimo has said the diseases are a threat to the livelihoods of residents of the region who depend on the animals.

"People in this region depend largely on livestock to earn a living and we have asked the government to move in and help to stop the spread of diseases which have already killed many animals," she said.

She said the government has started vaccinating livestock in Kerio Valley and Marakwet to contain the an outbreak of PPR. Kilimo appealed to the residents to take their livestock for vaccination to safeguard their "only source of their livelihood".

"I appeal to all residents in the Kerio Valley to ensure their livestock are vaccinated against PPR, which has threatened the survival of livestock in this region," she said. Some animals in the region have also been detected to have the contagious caprine pleuropneumonia.

A Livestock ministry official Joseph Kiyeng, who is based in Marakwet West, said camps have been set up at Chesongoch and Tot for the vaccination. "There should be no cause for panic because the government has adequate vaccines for all animals in this region," he said.

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