By Isabella Maua
Farmers within Bungoma County have been encouraged to avail their livestock of vaccination against Black Quarter diseases and rabies in their respective sub counties.
This is in line with the county’s compulsory vaccination program, which was rolled out in compliance with Disease Control Act Cap. 364 and Rabies Act Cap. 365 of the laws of Kenya.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with The Times Newspaper, Sub County Veterinary Officer Tongaren, Dr. Wechabe Simiyu, advised farmers to avail all species of animals for the exercise, especially during this rainy season when they’re more vulnerable.
“We call upon farmers to bring their cattle, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, and even donkeys for vaccination since it’s a very risky period for them given the onset of El Nino,” observed Dr. Simiyu.
He added that the exercise, which is currently ongoing in Tongaren, started in mid-September, and they’re still using all possible means to reach the farmers in the most interior parts of the region so as to ensure the targeted population benefits fully.
“With a target of about ten thousand livestock, we’ve so far provided this vital service to six thousand of them,” stated Dr. Simiyu.
Adding to that he mentioned, “We use local administration, churches, schools, and dip committee members to disseminate this information to the public through social events, public barazas, and media.”
On the other hand, the veterinarian pointed out the lack of compliance from farmers as the greatest hindrance to their service delivery.
“The level of willingness from farmers to receive these services is worrying; more so, poor staff facilitation and poor infrastructure have been barriers to relinquishing our service,” bemoaned Dr. Simiyu.
He conclusively advised that a routine disease surveillance calendar be established in the county to aid in timely facilitation for the exercise, including the availability of vaccines, accessories, means of transportation, subsistence allowances, and publicity.