The Lamu County government, through the Department of Livestock, has launched a free mass vaccination of animals across the region.
The campaign, which will be in two phases, targets at least 300,000 livestock including goats, sheep and dogs in a bid to protect them from fatal diseases.
Speaking to the Nation on Thursday, the county’s Livestock Chief Officer Gichohi Mathenge said sheep and goats will be vaccinated against the contagious pleuropneumonia, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, as well as pestes des petit ruminants (goat plague), all of which are fatal diseases.
Dogs are also being vaccinated against rabies.
The first phase of the vaccination campaign is ongoing in various villages in both Lamu East and West sub-counties.
At least 40,000 sheep, goats and dogs are targeted in the first phase of the campaign which is scheduled to end in early May.
Dr Mathenge said the first phase is fully sponsored by the Lamu County government but said they will be collaborating with the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project in the second phase of vaccination which starts mid-May.
“Mass vaccination of livestock is already ongoing in Kiunga and other smallholder livestock farms in Amu, Mkomani, Baharini, Mkunumbi and Witu wards. We are targeting at least 35,000 sheep and goats and 2,200 dogs in the first phase of vaccination,” said Dr Mathenge.
The second phase of the campaign will be targeting all the pastoralist areas in Lamu.
“Phase two of the mass vaccination campaign will be targeting all the pastoral and agro-pastoral zones in Lamu. They include mostly those in Pate Island. We will be targeting at least 120,000 cattle and 150,000 small stocks, that is, all sheep and goats in those areas,” said Dr Mathenge.
He said veterinary officers have already been dispatched to all the targeted areas and called on all residents to present their animals for vaccination.
“Our veterinary officers are on the ground and I urge all livestock farmers in Lamu to take advantage of the ongoing campaign by presenting their animals for vaccination,” said Dr Mathenge.
The county government has been at the forefront in supporting local farmers through extension services such free vaccines and advising farmers on best practices to follow for a disease-free Lamu.