Disaster is looming in Marsabit county following an outbreak of a mysterious disease that has claimed more than 500 camels and hundreds of goats in the last three months.
According to herders, a fever nicknamed “kando” has nearly wiped out livestock in Kurawa, El Dalacha and parts of Maikona areas in North Horr ward.
Area Member of County Assembly Tura Elema said worst hit areas include Balesa, Shurr, Maikona and Dosaruko.
“The disease has forced residents to rely on relief food because their source of income has been lost,” he said and urged the county and national governments to intervene.
“These are pastoralists who depend solely on livestock and if they die, poverty levels in the area will rise,” he added.
Speaking to the People Daily on phone, Chief Livestock Officer Wario Sori confirmed the existence of the disease, saying blood samples have been taken to the Government Chemist for further analysis.
“During the rainy season, parasites that attack our animals increase. Though we have established that our animals are suffering from Ana plasma, trypanosomiasis-blood parasites which can affect animals if not treated appropriately,” he added.
Sori said that a team of vets has been dispatched to supply vaccines donated by the county government.
“The number of vets in the county is low, making it hard to reach all the affected areas,” he said. According to him, anti-biotics have been taken to the affected areas to contain the situation that is rising rapidly.
“The department is overstretched but we are doing our best in this emergency outbreak case and already we are doing ring vaccination”, he said.
The MCA said camels and goats become weak after being bitten by the vector making them die after few hours.
Sori has admitted that the department is currently facing challenges in addressing the menace after most resources were used during the outbreak of the Rift Valley Fever.
“Currently, our resources are limited and keeping the vets on the ground is costly and vaccination is an extensive exercise where huge resources need to be pulled,” he said.
“The government financial year has ended though the county government bought vector control drugs while the national government bought vaccines that we distributed to the affected areas,” he said.
He appealed to stakeholders to support the department to enable it to respond to the the cases that has affected Laisamis and North Horr sub-counties.