Livestock diseases surge in drought-hit counties

Turkana Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries CEC Philip Aemun during the launch of the vaccination exercise in Turkana South sub-county on January 20, 2021. [Lucas Ngasike, Standard]

The National Drought Management Authority (NMDA) has reported an upsurge in livestock diseases in over 10 counties that are still recovering from drought.

While calling for support towards safe migrations for the pastoralists moving back to their settlements, the authority noted that the drought situation was easing with time.

Already, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kwale, and Nyeri counties are in the recovery drought phase following the recent rains pounding the country.

This came as the Authority noted that forage conditions in ASAL counties showed a great improvement compared to April.

According to a report by the Authority, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Baringo, Turkana, Kajiado, Kilifi, Meru North, Narok, and West Pokot were affected by the disease outbreak.

“Suspected cases of Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Pest Petis Ruminantes (PPR) and foot and mouth diseases reported in these counties,” said the authority.

To assist affected communities, the Authority said the government had up-scaled provision of food and cash transfers targeting households that were currently food insecure.

“The authority is calling for facilitation of safe migrations for the pastoralists moving back to their settlements and treatment and vaccination against emerging livestock diseases.”

The Authority noted that forage in 75 per cent of the ASAL counties was good, while browse condition was good at 83 per cent compared to the previous month.

“However, the current pasture and browse conditions are below normal as compared to normal years,” added the report.

It further noted that livestock body condition for cattle was fair at 48 per cent and good at 52 per cent in the arid and semi-arid counties.
The body condition for goats was fair at 39 per cent and good at 61 per cent.

“Generally, the current body condition of most livestock is above normal in comparison to similar periods, and this is due to good improvement in vegetation,” said the report.

Earlier, CS Rebecca Miano said that the government had released an additional Sh2b to secure relief food and distribution for affected counties.