• West Pokot gets deep freezers and refrigerators worth Sh500,000; they will keep medicines cool and preserve them.
• The county is not a disease-free region and farmers fear might be barred from exporting meat product to international markets.
Livestock production and disease control in West Pokot county have received a boost after an NGO donated Sh500,000 refrigerators and freezers to store drugs.
Speaking after receiving the equipment from ACF International, Agriculture and Livestock executive Geofrey Lipale said the county is still faced with crippling livestock diseases.
He urged more donors to help eradicate various diseases.
“Today we have received deep freezers and refrigerators to help control disease," Lipale said.
They will enable the county to purchase drugs in large quantities, store and use them as needed.
West Pokot is not disease-free and farmers and leaders fear they will be barred from exporting meat products to international markets if their livestock are not certified disease-free.
“Our Nasukuta slaughterhouse is almost complete and we need to eradicate disease," Lipale said.
Covid-19 has hurt livestock production because pastoralists have been barred from migrating in search of water and pasture.
The county has vaccinated more than 400,000 cattle, goats, sheep and camels in two months against various diseases.
Lipale also asked the national government to give more help to pastoralist counties to manage livestock diseases, saying what it gives is not enough.
“Agriculture has been fully devolved but most pastoralists counties still have the burden of diseases and we urge the national government to help,” he said.
“The national government should direct a lot of energy to livestock diseases as it does toward human health as the livestock sector is the main source of income for pastoralist counties," Lipale said.
Counties could lose many animals if they don't get donor help, he said.
ACF, or Action Against Hunger (Action Contre la Faim), is an NGO that works on water, food security and disease surveillance. It also helps managing livestock diseases and educating farmers.
(Edited by V. Graham)