Desperate farmers use traditional brew busaa to treat foot and mouth disease

Framers in Rongai, Nakuru county have been forced to use "busaa", local brew, to contain foot and mouth disease oubreak. The disease that has killed more than 30 cows was first reported in the area one week ago. Its not clear how they came to a conclusion busaa is a cure. [PHOTO/SARAH OTIENO].

Farmers in Rongai sub-county have lost 30 cows to foot and mouth disease over the past two weeks.

The farmers have accused the Nakuru county government of dragging its feet in dealing with the disease after they reported the matter.

They are now using traditional brew, known as busaa, hoping it will treat their animals.

"We have not received any help from the county government since we reported the matter. Our cows have been dying. We feel helpless and desperate. That is why most of us are using the brew, hoping it will treat the condition," said one of the affected farmers Nashon Ngare, from Matuiku village.

He added: "We were hoping the Government will send veterinary doctors to help us contain the disease but nothing. We decided to look for alternatives."

They use busaa mixed with magadi soda and water to make paste that helps in drying the wounds.

Another farmer, Keneddy Gachuru, said the brew is not always available and have to travel long distances to access it.

"Private veterinary doctors charge Sh3,000 to treat one cow. Most of us cannot afford it. That is why we decided to go the traditional way. It is cheaper," said John Wanjau.

However, Agriculture Chief Officer Enos Amuyunzu said they were planning to have all affected animals vaccinated.