Hundreds of Kajiado herders have called for urgent action to contain a major outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease and prevent its spread to other parts of the country.
According to Veterinary Department officers in the county, a vaccine resistant Ugandan virus causing Foot and Mouth diseases (FMD) had been reported across the county.
Most herders are now in panic mode with the deadly disease affecting most livestock in Kajiado Central, Kajiado East and Kajiado West sub counties. It is estimated more than 500,000 animals have been affected so far.
In Enkorika and Olbelbel villages in Kajiado Central, most animals are unable to go back home after grazing in the fields. The disease might also affect wild animals in sanctuaries such as Amboseli and Nairobi National parks.
“Both national and county government must move with speed to avert the looming deaths of our animals. Most herders cannot afford to vaccinate their animals. Our outcry has been ignored for the last two months,’’ said Loisah Lemayian, a local herder.
The herders have further faulted the devolved unit for failing to put up mitigations plans from the onset of the ongoing rains.
“The county government ought to have seized the meteorological advice on prolonged rains to put up the diseases mitigation plan,’’ said John Tupet, a herder from Magadi.
However Kajiado Agriculture Executive Jacqueline Koin said there a new FMD virus outbreak sweeping the country despite the recent countywide livestock vaccination.
Ms koin sais late last year the country government vaccinated 2.2 Million animals but the resistant virus is recurring in between three to six months affecting animals.
“We have reached the relevant office in National government to address the issue. Stringent measures are under way to contain the disease. We assure our farmers ‘’it shall be well,’’ said Ms Koin.