PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP WOULD ENHANCE EFFECTIVE E-SURVEILLANCE ON LIVESTOCK DISEASES- CECM AEMUN

County executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that a collaboration between the County Government and partners on electronic livestock diseases reporting would support early detection and timely response on outbreaks thus cushioning pastrolist from adverse socio-economic risk posed by the diseases.

Noting of human resource challenges to track diseases due to vastness of the region ,CEC Aemun said that the concept of innovative approach to conventional animal diseases surveillance was conceived, initiated and set up by the Government in collaboration with Accelerated Value Chain Development for Livestock(AVCD) implemented by International Livestock Research Institute and thereafter by GFA-GIZ.

Speaking today during the launch of a  Ksh.10 million backup server for the e-surveillance system and donation of 15 smart  phones to Community Disease Reporters said that the technology based diseases reporting would aid risk informed and evidence based decision making on conducting active surveillance. GIZ has additionally donated seven laptops for veterinary staff.

GFA  will   provide 63,000 kenya shillings worth airtime for Community Disease Reporters(CDRs) who were recently trained on e-surveillance reporting.

While noting of the need to strengthen grassroots structures for disease reporting, the County executive revealed that the veterinary directorate was gearing up to recruit an additional 300 community disease reporters with focus on kraals members .

The e-surveillance system for livestock diseases reporting is a mobile phone based syndromic surveillance system that is being used by the County veterinary directorate to collect and process data from ; Livestock diseases at the community level,meat inspection records as well as types and volume of drugs sold at agro veterinary shops.

County  Chief Officer for Fisheries and Veterinary services Abdullahi  Yussuf thanked the organisation for support and  the beneficiaries to utilize the gadgets well for effective reporting.

GFA/GIZ Program Coordinator  Frank Njogu said launch  of the server and distribution of the equipment was a progress  towards strengthening e-surveillance system and livestock diseases control.

County Director for Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Longor acknowledged the role played by agro-vets facilities in supporting disease treatment and livestock production in Turkana.

Staff drawn from the department Pastoral Economy were present during the brief  event at Mifugo Complex.

VETERINARY DIRECTORATE READY TO CURB SPREAD OF LIVESTOCK DISEASES-CEC AEMUN

The veterinary services directorate is on high alert to curb spread and control of livestock diseases following of  migration of large herds of livestock from  Uganda, County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said .

The huge influx of livestock, CECM Aemun said would lead to increased interaction and cross-contamination between treated and untreated herds of livestock that poses high risk of flaring up of diseases.

He regretted that past cases of outbreaks of livestock diseases  led to huge socio-economic loss to the pastrolist community.

The County executive spoke today when he launched the Emergency Livestock-based livelihoods assistance for flood affected Households in Turkana County. He said that the Pastoral Economy department was committed to see that the Program is fully materialized to assist the targeted beneficiaries.

To safeguard human and animal health, the County executive revealed that the Pastoral Economy department would strengthen the E-surveillance system that have in used in tracking of livestock diseases in the region.  He said that the surveillance will inform response, vaccination, supportive treatment and vector control.

The objective of the three months programme that will cover Turkana North, Loima and Turkana South sub-Counties is to increase resilience of livelihoods to threats and crisis on the affected households in the County.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) funded program  will be implemented by VSF-Germany with technical support from County departments of Veterinary Services and Public Health.

CECM Aemun said that the recent heavy rains experienced has neccesitated vigilance on Rift Valley Fever diseases which is zoonotic.  He assured that the ministry was on high alert and will focus on creating awareness to kraals regarding the disease.

He assured partners of the ministry readiness to coordinate with them to strengthen human and livestock health through the One Health program that is jointly conducted by the County departments of Pastoral Economy and Health.

The targeted mass treatment of livestock will cover 85,000 sheep & goats and 6,628(camels, donkeys and cattles) benefiting 4,650 households.  386 households will receive mosquito nets.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock production and Veterinary Abdullahi Yusuf said that his department will continue partner with  stakeholders to enhance maximum livestock production and productivity in the region.

County Director of veterinary services Benson Longor said that the directorate through the Program would create Public awareness to herders on prevention,control and management of Rift Valley Fever through access to Emergency Livestock Inputs like veterinary drugs,equipment and mosquito nets.

Disaster Management Deputy  Director Moses Nawoton said  that flash floods are a threat to livelihoods,noting that the recent effects of heavy rains in the region were devastating.

Also present were County Deputy Directors; Dr.Jane Akale(Veterinary Services), Bobby Ekadon(Livestock production), and Dr. Job Rono from the veterinary services department .

Representatives from National Drought Management Authority(NDMA), Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) and VSF-Germany also attended the launch of the Program in Lodwar.

NALAPATUI COMMUNITY PRODUCES ALOE GEL SOAP AND SHAMPOO

The cottage industry of making and selling of soap, liquid or/and solid, has been a favourite for social groups as income generating activity. For the Nalapatui Community Based Natural Resource Management Committee (CBNRMC) in Kalobeyei Ward – Turkana West Sub-county, their activity has incorporated a nature-based enterprise element; aloe.
Based twenty kilometres off the Lokichoggio – Kakuma Road, 30 members of the Nalapatui Village formed a group to establish a plantation of two species of aloe (aloe turkanensis and aloe vera), then harvest to extract the sap to make liquid and solid soap and shampoo.
“We [community] have always known that aloe has medicinal properties,” said Edward Etot Samal, the group’s Secretary. “By adding aloe to our products makes them better and the group can make money out of this plant that grows in the wild.”
With the assistance from the Turkana County’s Directorate of Natural Resources, the members were able to transplant the two varieties propagated at Kakuma Tree Nursery to a plantation adjust to the village.
“Aloe is easy to manage unlike other horticultural crops like tomatoes,” said Boaz Ekiru, Sub-County Natural Resource Officer of Turkana West. “The plant also offers bonus benefits such as improvement of the aesthetic of the land, acts as a cover crop therefore protecting the soil and has medicinal and cosmetic properties.”
He added that other group in Loima Sub-county’s Locher Angikalalio had done their own plantation and already begun making products. This is sustainable utilisation of non-wood forest products is environmentally friendly. This also promotes food security and a secure means of livelihood which takes into consideration conservation of the environment.
With an easy-to-follow pictorial manual, Samal explained how each product was made; the process from harvest, measurement of the different ingredients and methods of preparation such as how to stir and for how long. It also included important reminders like storing the solid soap for six weeks for the harshness of caustic soda used to dissipate.
“We perfume our soaps so as to be different from the rest and so is the use of aloe as one of the ingredients,” he said.
Another selling point is their soaps last longer and cheaper than the commercial ones; the solid soap goes for Sh50, half a litre of soap and shampoo at Sh100 while a litre is Sh200. This has made their products popular in the village and the nearest centre, Kalobeyei. The group also sells at barazas and to some customers in Lokichoggio and Kakuma.
Since the group began the project, the members have used the profits made to improve their lives. Samal says that some members have managed to open kiokis while others have bought animals to increase their herd numbers.
As the business grow, they hope to increase production and reach more markets like Lodwar.
The project was implemented in collaboration with GIZ TCF Project, and Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI).

COUNTY CONDUCTS SURVEILLANCE ON ZOONOTIC DISEASES

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STABILITY IN TURKANA SOUTH SHOULD STRENGTHEN FARMING RESILIENCE- DR. LOLELEA

County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Jacob Lolelea has said that the current peace stability along the riverine belt in Turkana South Sub-County should motivate farming efforts in the region.

He stated that farmers should utilize the peaceful environment and government support to rejuvenate their efforts of crop production that he said had been hindered in the past because of insecurity.

The Chief Officer spoke at Simailele in Katilu Ward when he inspected the ongoing demarcation of indvidual farming plots in the farm  by surveyors from the National Government’s ministry of Agriculture.

Dr .Lolelea assured the  surveyors of County Government support towards realization of the DRSLP’s target at the  Simailele farming site, that is projected to indirectly benefit more than 2500 people.

He called on farmers present to support implementation of the programme and  urged Agriculture officers to help the County Government achieve it’s Food security agenda  by offering regular extension services to residents on food and livestock production.

The implementation of the 180 hectares of farming land project in Simailele is funded by African Development Bank through the State Department of Crop Development and Agricultural Research . Its being implemented in Turkana under the Drought Resilience And Sustainable Livelihoods Programme(DRSLP), that is domiciled in the County Department of Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries.

County Director of Veterinary Services Benson Longor expressed optimism that the Programme would be beneficial to locals because of its  Integrated approach that brings together the component of farming and livestock production in the farm.

20 hactres  of the farm has been hived off and fenced for establishment of a commercial pasture production while construction of a hay store which is part of the project  is half compl complete.

Apart from the equipped solar power and furnished office ,DRSLP has also identified and fenced a suitable site for construction of a grain store.

Also present were Irrigation Deputy Director Ken Wabwire ,Turkana County DRSLP Desk officer Paul Njuguna and a host of Agriculture officers from Turkana South Sub-County.

Tilling of Land kicks off in Turkana North

Land preparation in readiness for planting season has started in several parts of  Turkana. County government tractors have been dispatched to all the sub-counties to till the selected farming land .

County director of Agriculture and Irrigation Paul Lokone yesterday toured Nadunga village, Kaeris ward in Turkana North Sub-County to inspect the ongoing preparation of land and planting of  Sorghum, in the more than 200 acres of farming site that is expected to indirectly support 1200 people.

The  new farm ,director Lokone said,will  utilize flood waters for crop production.  Crops expected to be planted include Sorghum,Cowpeas and PH1 maize that are drought resistant.

Director Lokone said the department is opening more land for increased crop production as an effort to achieve County Government’s agenda on food security.

Other areas where land preparation is being done include Lokamarinyang(Kibish),Loyaal(Turkana West),Kaekuto(Loima) and Nakukulas in Turkana East Sub-County.  More than 1400 acres of land that would  utilize the flood based farming technique is being tilled.

Director Lokone directed agriculture officers to help farmers with modern skills and knowledge on crop production.

Thousands of livestock vaccinated in Turkana East Sub-County

County Directorate of Veterinary has so far treated more than 27,000 goats and sheep against Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) locally known as *Lomoo* in a two week long exercise that started last week.

At Kamuge and Ngilukia Vilages in Turkana East Sub-County, the County Veterinary officers vaccinated 3904 sheep and goats against PPR with another batch of livestock totalling 1562 receiving vaccination on Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia .

County Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Longor has said that the exercise targets to prevent spread of diseases as well as increase livestock production in the County through regular treatment and monitoring.

Additionally, Dr. Longor has said that the mass treatment, deworming and vaccination exercise that is being conducted in all sub-counties is expected to cover more than 500,000 livestock.

He noted mobilization of pastoralists in for Kibish Sub-County has been completed with mass treatment starting at Ekicheles tommorow. More than 150 cattles have been treated at Meyan, Maisa and Napeikar in Turkana North Sub-County.

In Turkana South, more than 3000 goats sheep have been vaccinated against PPR with the Veterinary officers attached to the Sub-County ferrying Mobile Crushes to Juluk and Akou Ekile villages to enable treatment of kraals that are situated in the riverine areas.

61 households at Nanam in Turkana West have benefited from the exercise that has seen vaccination of more than 10,000 goats.

COMMUNITY ENGAGED ON THE OUTCOMES OF SONGOT RANGES AND LOTIKIPI GAME RESERVE GAZETTEMENT

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources in partnership with with Mercy Corps, held a community public participation on gazettement of Songot Ranges and Lotikipi Game Reserve, in Turkana West Sub-county.

While giving his opening remarks, CEC Charles Lokioto said that the county government would like to gazette the two areas for protection and conservation.
“Our forefathers had their own systems of conservation and had established boundaries to this effect,” he said, “the county government would like to continue in this tradition and assist the community reinforce these important natural resources.”
He further added that the gazettement would ensure that there is grazing pasture during droughts and enhancing livelihoods through nature-based activities like bee-keeping and eco-tourism.

He was accompanied by Chief Officers Rosemary Nchinyei (Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources) and Pauline Lokuruka (Education, Sports and Social Protection).

The over 50 participants, from the community drawn from different kraals, National Government administration officials and representatives of the area Member of Parliament and Member of County Assembly (MCA), met in Lokichoggio to deliberate on the way forward in gazetting these important resources.

MCAs Cosmas Longor (Nanam) and Bethwel Kobong’in (Songot and Majority Leader) called for the gazettement to be expedited as it would provide the community with employment opportunities.

They also raised concerns about wildlife poaching in the area and called upon the concerned authorities to investigate and prosecute the offenders.

The community appealed for a benchmarking exercise so they can learn from other successful community conservations and also more public barazas to educate the kraals near the ranges.

Other government institutions involved in this exercise were Kenya Wildlife Service represented by the Warden and Kenya Forest Service.

NINE MORE ROAD MAINTENANCE PROJECTS TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE COUNTY

Following the award of tenders to 9 successful bidders, the County Government of Turkana is set to implement a section of the 3rd phase of road maintenance works funded by Roads Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF), which is a grant from Kenya Roads Board (KRB).

In a site handover meeting held at the ministry of infrastructure, Transport and Public Works, CEC Benson Logiel Lokwang asked contractors for the road projects to work closely with project engineers from the ministry to ensure they are implemented as per the instructions and specification on the projects work plans.

CEC Benson asked the contractors to engage community leaders and residents through project sensitization meetings before the commencement of work to make them understand what the project entails and how they will benefit from it. He added that sensitization meetings are important since they familiarize the community with the project and prevent resistance and interference once the projects begin.

On project implementation, the CEC emphasized that quality standard work is expected from the projects and that the county government will not make payments for substandard work. He therefore asked the contractors to always contact ministry engineers whenever they fail to understand project instructions instead of assuming and proceeding only to be instructed to redo work.

To add on to this, Chief Officer Infrastructure and Transport Ariko John Namoit indicated that the ministry will be watchful to record the performance of works for the projects and that contractors who do shoddy work might be locked out from future opportunities. He advised the contractors to assemble all project materials on-site before beginning project implementation since it is expensive to purchase and transport materials in bits, a challenge he said was experienced in some previously implemented projects which were delayed due to inability of contractors to deliver materials on time to the workers on site.

Namoit challenged the contractors to consider an element of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) apart from the projects they have been contracted to do.  “Tell us what you have done in CSR, provide evidence and this will give you high chances in future’’, said Namoit. Ag. Director Roads Amos Lokaale also informed the contractors that KRB expects all projects implemented by RMLF to be accompanied by an element of CSR. This he said ranges from employing locals to work on the projects, to drilling water for the community or even building a toilet among others.

“A good student Listens keenly, asks relevant questions and then delivers. You are now our students, please be that good student”. This was a message to the contractors from Engineer Simon Nakucho who explained that it was important for the contractors to be attentive and adhere to project instructions already given to them and that will be given throughout the project implementation period.

The site handover meeting was attended by Ministry roads engineers and successful bidders contracted for the road maintenance works at; Kalokol-Nabwell Ekorot road (Turkana Central), Napak hill road (Turkana North), Locher Ekaal river protection (Turkana West), Todonyang- Kokuro road (Turkana North), Lodwar Township Streets II road (Turkana Central), Lorugum- Loreng’esinyen road (Loima), Proposed construction of Kaakalel drift (Turkana South), Lokangae- Nsinyono road ( Turkana West) and Lokichogio- Lochor Aikope road (Turkana West). The total number of advertised projects for this 3rd phase was 15, out of which the 9 were successful and the remaining 6 set to be re-advertised since there was no successful bidder for the projects.

In his closing remarks, the CEC emphasized that the 9 projects have to be implemented within three months which is the project implementation period and that contractors experiencing challenges should notify the engineer in charge of advice.

REGULAR TREATMENT OF LIVESTOCK WILL BOOST ANIMAL HEALTH- DR. MICHAEL EREGAE

County chief officer for Fisheries, Livestock production, and veterinary services Michael Eregae has said regular vaccination and treatment of livestock would avert deaths and boost animals’ health.
Referring to the ongoing vaccination and deworming of goats in Turkana North, Dr. Eregae said that the County government had put enough plans to treat pastoralist livestock to increase production and cushion them against economic losses that would be incurred through massive death of herds.
Pastoralism, Dr.Eregae said, was the main source of livelihood in Turkana and hence the need to invest heavily in its treatment against diseases. He affirmed department commitment to work with livestock production partners to help cover every part of the County including the nearby countries where herders usually migrate to, during the dry season in search of water and pasture.
Further, Chief officer Eregae revealed that the department has budgeted for the procurement of more vaccines in addition to what it bought in the last financial year.
A joint vaccination and deworming exercise in Turkana North Sub-County involving County department of veterinary services, Food Agriculture Organisation and World relief international targets to cover more 25,000 goats and sheep.
Areas to be covered in the week-long activity includes; Kaaleng, Kaalem, Kachoda, Karebur, sesame, and Kokuro.
The County government and United Nations Food Agriculture Organisation(UNFAO) procured vaccines while World Relief International Organisation facilitated staff allowances.

Turkana North  Sub-County Veterinary officer Ezekiel Makori said that identified cases of Peste des Petits Ruminants(PPR) locally known as *Lomoo*

would be treated to prevent its spread in the area.

World Relief International organization is based in Turkana North Sub-County and is involved in several programs that include livestock production, food security, and nutrition.
Yesterday, Turkana Central Sub-County Veterinary officer Job Rono visited Karebur and Sasame villages to Supervise the exercise on behalf of County Veterinary director Benson Longor.