Garissa targets one million livestock in vaccination drive

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The Garissa county government has launched a livestock vaccination drive targeting more than one million cattle, sheep, goats, camels and donkeys.

Livestock executive Mohamed Shale on Monday said the countywide exercise was to start in the four worst-hit subcounties of Hulugho, Dadaab, Lagdera and Balambala.

The aim is to save farmers from losses and boost their earnings.

He spoke at the Agricultural Training Centre in Garissa town where he flagged off vaccination and treatment campaign teams for the subcounties.

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“We are looking to vaccinate some 500,000 livestock in the most affected areas of Hulugho, Daadab, Lagdera and Balambala subcounties within the next two weeks,” Shale said.

A similar drive is set to be rolled out in the remaining subcounties.

Garissa livestock executive Mohamed Shale at the Agricultural Training Institute on Monday, March 9, 2021
VACCINATION: Garissa livestock executive Mohamed Shale at the Agricultural Training Institute on Monday, March 9, 2021
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

“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.

The CEC decried the desert locust invasion and a fast worsening drought situation which he said had changed grazing patterns thereby putting the livelihoods of more than 60 per cent residents at risk.

County director of livestock services Haret Hambe called for a synchronised vaccination programme.

He said a well-coordinated vaccination exercise would help stop the spread of diseases which often occur as pastoralists move with their animals from one area to another in search of pasture.

He said it would be futile to vaccinate animals in one county and ignore neighbouring counties where inter-county livestock movement happens.

Last week, Governor Korane urged pastoralists to take advantage of the vaccination drive and avail their animals for treatment which he said would go a long way in building immunity for livestock and increasing productivity and income.

Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey called on county governments to follow the Council of Governor’s declaration to allocate at least 10 per cent of the county budget to agriculture and livestock.

He said the sector was a key economic driver and one which many families depend on.

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