Farmers in distress as foot and mouth disease hits livestock in Trans Nzoia

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 14 Oct, 2022 10:55 | 2 mins read
Farmers in distress as foot and mouth disease hits livestock in Trans Nzoia
A photo collage of John Komen, a livestock farmer in Kapsitwet area, Trans Nzoia County, and a sick cow. PHOTO/. Emanuel Tarus

Livestock farmers in Kapsitwet area of Kwanza constituency, Trans Nzoia County, are worried following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease affecting livestock.

In an exclusive interview with K24 Digital, John Komen, a dairy farmer, said seven of his adult cows and three calves have been infected.

"I am a very worried man because these ten cows can neither move nor eat because they are very sick. I don't want to imagine losing them," Komen said.

Komen said despite reporting the matter to the Ministry of Agriculture in the county, no action has been taken so far.

"It is now three weeks since our veterinary officer took samples from our livestock and the results turned positive. After that nothing has been done, we have been neglected," he added.

Lose livestock

Alfred Kigen, a large-scale dairy farmer, said if the government does not intervene, he is likely to lose 40 heads of cattle.

"34 adult cattle and six calves are sick. It is very sad that we are staring at a disaster not knowing what to do," he lamented.

Kigen disclosed that the farmers in the region have resorted to locally available means in an attempt to save the lives of the animals.

"Because of the desperate situation, we have resorted to desperate means, we are now using busaa, baking powder, and magadi soda because the government has turned a blind eye on the situation," Kigen added.

Anthony Barasa, a dorper sheep farmer, appealed to Trans Nzoai Governor George Natembeya's administration to intervene to avert looming losses.

According to Job Sang', the chairperson of Ogilgei Kapsitwet Dairy Cooperative Society, the disease has affected milk production in the area.

"A sick cow cannot produce milk. We normally receive 5,000 litres from our dairy farmers but that has dropped significantly" Sang' revealed.

However, the county government dismissed the farmers' claims saying it's doing everything possible to contain the disease.

Mary Nzomo, the Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives County Executive Committee Member, said the department had taken necessary actions including imposing a quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.

"We have taken action as a department and our staff are on the ground advising farmers. The first line of action we took was to impose a quarantine 3 weeks ago when the cases were reported," Nzomo stated.

She revealed that her department will soon vaccinate all the animals that have not been infected.

"We are trying to obtain vaccines to vaccinate animals which are not sick to boost their immunity" she added.

Related Topics