The West Pokot County government has rolled out a free livestock vaccination exercise of goats and sheep against Petits Des Peste Ruminants (PPR) disease.
The program that kicked off in North Pokot sub County is targeting to reach over 90,000 goats and sheep in the entire County.
Speaking during the vaccination exercise at Kases area, West Pokot County Executive Member for Livestock and Pastoral economy Mr. Geoffrey Lipale said the move seeks to make the region disease free and enhance quality of meat and milk to boost the market of animals.
Lipale said that for the last one month, they have managed to vaccinate over 102,000 goats.
He said the whole process had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with the requirements needing physical distancing among other directives to be kept.
Lipale said that West Pokot County has lost over 30,000 goats and the livestock market has been affected, in turn affecting the area’s economy.
Lipale said the disease was first reported in the County in 2007 adding that the disease can be only controlled through vaccination. He urged pastoralists to avail their animals for the vaccination exercise that will run continuously for one week in Kacheliba Sub County.
“Livestock keeping is the backbone of the County and the program will help farmers,” said Lipale.
The county has a population of close to 400,000 cattle, 444,600 goats and 360,000 sheep according to data from the department of veterinary services.
West Pokot is also one of the leading regions in livestock keeping in the country with most farmers practicing pastoralism.
Only 58,000 of the total cattle population in the county are reared for dairy purposes.