Tsetse flies invasion looms in drought-hit counties

January 28, 2017 4:16 pm
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The Chairman David Wanyonyi says this will cause 50 percent reduction in livestock in the country if not addressed immediately/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council says there is a looming tsetse flies invasion in drought stricken counties.

The Chairman David Wanyonyi says this will cause 50 percent reduction in livestock in the country if not addressed immediately.

“The effect of the drought on pastoral communities is to commence the implementation of their coping mechanism and migration of their herds of cattle to the areas where there is pasture and water. Forested shade areas and water points are the areas that tsetse flies migrate to as drought situations tend to decline as the conditions are not favourable for their survival. This increases the biting rate tsetse in the herd and sustained infections in this localized areas,” Wanyonyi explained.

He says the situation is already affecting some areas especially in Lamu, Isiolo, Narok and North eastern Kenya.

Already livestock prices have decreased from normal with average sized goat of Sh3,500 dropping to Sh2,000.

“Moreover, the expected rains after the drought will create conducive environment for an increase in tsetse fly population and lead to competition on the few remaining livestock hosts. An increase in tsetse biting rates will subsequently translate to higher incidences of Trypanosomiasis both in man and animals,” he added.

He urged counties in these affected areas to put up cautionary measure to mitigate the situation through mobilizing resources and intensifying the precautionary measures.

Some of the precautionary measures should be continuous animal spraying and application of pour-ons, refilling of cattle dips as well as advocacy and sensitization.

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