Livestock farmers in Nandi County are a worried lot following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the region.
The disease has crippled dozens of livestock for the past three weeks which has adversely affected animal production.
Chesumei, Mosop and lower Emgwen Sub Counties are regions that have been affected leaving farmers counting losses.
Due to a shortage of immunisation drugs to administer to the animals, farmers have been forced to use a traditional brew commonly known as ‘busaa’ which is believed to be the remedy as they wait for the mass vaccination exercise supposed to be conducted by the county government.
John Sang, a dairy farmer at Kapkangani village said that six of his dairy animals have been infected by the disease which has cut down milk production.
“A sick cow cannot produce milk. I have been forced to quarantine some cows to prevent the disease from spreading in the farm. It’s bad that we are staring at a disaster without knowing what to do,” he said
Another farmer Brian Kiptoo noted that his ten dairy cattle and four calves are sick, calling on the county government to move with speed and intervene to avert the looming losses.
“We are calling upon the relevant authorities to address the issue urgently by ensuring there are sufficient immunization drugs in the local market to be easily accessed by farmers,” he said
According to locals, the disease may have been accelerated by the lucrative animal business during the festive season when local traders massively transported the cows from neighboring counties that had experienced the disease outbreak.
Nandi County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture and Livestock Dr Kiplimo Lagat confirmed having received the report and they are currently assessing the foot and mouth prevalence.
“Plans are underway to roll out immunization program that will begin soon and if the disease persists, we will be forced to issue quarantine to control livestock movement,” he said