Livestock vaccination drive launched as drought bites hard
As drought ravages most parts of the counties in Asal areas, James Ekamais is not ready to take chances. He lives in Kapua area, Kalokol Ward in Turkana Central Sub County.
Despite the scorching sun and the high temperatures which increase each passing day, he knows that prevention is better than cure or worse even death. He understands that it is better to protect his goats from diseases before they go out in search of pasture.
This day the Turkana County Government was undertaking a livestock vaccination exercise and James knew too well to change his daily routine to ensure his goats are vaccinated.
The two-weeks exercise which also includes deworming and ectoparasite control targets 60,000 livestock in Kibish and Turkana Central Sub-Counties.
"I am so happy today because our goats will be safe from Loukoi, a very dangerous disease. Today they have received vaccinations meaning they will be safe if there will be an outbreak of the disease. However, we still need animal feeds to protect our livestock from the ravaging drought. We fear that we will lose them," said James.
Loukoi is a local name describing a contagious disease known as pleuropneumonia (CCPP) disease to livestock.
The County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun urged the community to bring their livestock for vaccination.
He called on herders to regularly participate in public participation forums during the budget-making process so as to champion for an increase of funds allocated towards disease control as well as other sectors that are critical to the livelihoods of the pastoralist.
"We have the Animal Health Bill that is being worked on by the County Government. It will ensure that critical livestock drugs and other essential veterinary services are decentralized to the village level," said Aemun.
The recurrent drought had made herders and their livestock vulnerable to both food insecurity and diseases.
Livestock and veterinary Chief Officer Abdullahi Yusuf challenged the community to sometimes consider selling part of their herds to prevent incurring losses when the drought situation gets worse.
17,000 goats have been vaccinated in Kibish including Nayanae -Epuul and Kokuro-Meyan.