This is amazing! Even our government has never done a mass livestock treatment of such magnitude in the recent past.” Says mzee Ismail Hassan.
Ismail Hassan is a pastoralist in Garissa County, North eastern Kenya and is one of the direct beneficiaries of a mass livestock vaccination exercise carried out by the Ministry of Livestock Development with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Garissa County is an arid land and mainly hosts pastoralist communities whose livestock is an asset and the main source of livelihood. Like other parts of Northern Kenya, Garissa is often hard hit by incidences of drought that leaves them devastated when their livestock die due to lack of water and pasture, coupled with livestock diseases.
When IOM started operations in Garissa in 2010, the communities were grappling with serious livestock diseases and majority of them did not have sufficient knowledge to be able to manage them, especially those that could be prevented.
The community called on IOM for support and through the Ministry of Livestock Development and funding from the Government of Japan, IOM supported livestock vaccination and deworming initiatives to control and prevent disease outbreak. This improved the health and helped to reduce the number of livestock deaths.
This year 2012, the Ministry of Livestock Development and IOM have treated 42,217 livestock (goats, sheep, cows and camels) and vaccinated 18,355 livestock, consequently benefiting 350 households.
Capacity building and sustainability
To empower communities to prevent/treat livestock diseases and adapt to climate change with minimum losses, 200 herders have received basic skills training on animal management.
The training that linked the herders with the Ministry of Livestock Development covered issues on disease surveillance, identifying symptoms of various diseases and administering first aid.
For sustainability, IOM also linked the Community Health Workers trained in 2011 with the government to ensure rapid support and successive interventions should the need arise.