The short rains season (October - December), has seen our conservation sites receive above average rainfall. Unfortunately, the rain quickly turned to a curse, flooding everywhere and making most parts in Garissa inaccessible, even worse was a disease outbreak that affected the livestock. The first news came from a devastated farmer whose goats’ mouth were turning purple and mucus that stuffed their noses. Soon more news of livestock dying trickled in; goats and sheep being the most affect species.
Later on, the county vet diagnosed that the deaths were a result of Peste des petits ruminants. Soon, other forms of illness manifested in different livestock species. We were urgently contacted by the county vet based on the previous relationship and a common goal to help the local communities and prevent a possible spillover of diseases to wildlife. With an additional support of the Houston Zoo, we conducted a five-day operation where we vaccinated 8881cattles against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and 13647 sheep and goats against Peste des petits ruminants (PPR). In total, we vaccinated 22527 livestock in 194 different households in Fafi subcounty.
The problem is ongoing as we still receive reports of similar incidences within the region. We are continuously working with locals to identify diseases and other agencies through a long-term project to identify the disease cycles and drivers within hirola rangeland under one health approach.