The Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP) funded by the World Bank is concomitantly under implementation in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. One of the operational activities of the national RPLRP project is supporting the national veterinary department towards cross-border area disease surveillance and animal vaccination. In order to maintain and realize the cross-border elements of the project, it is important to bring together the two countries; Kenya and Uganda for regular discussion for harmonized disease surveillance and vaccination in order to control trans-boundary animal diseases (TBD). Such activities were visualized as flagship cross-border activities with clear regional approach.
Furthermore, IGAD is tasked with coordinating of cross-border areas of infrastructure development such as building and upgrading livestock markets, water sources (boreholes, water dams), and border check points and rehabilitation of rangeland. Therefore, IGAD RPLRP coordinated the third cross-border meeting (after Eldoret 2014 and Kitale 2016 meetings) on harmonized animal health activities. The coordination involved Turkana and West Pokot in Kenya and Karamoja (Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Amudat and Kween districts) region in Uganda. A two days workshop was organized on 25-26th September, 2017 in Lodwar, followed by visit to on ongoing RPLRP flagship activities 27-29th September 2017. The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Michael Cheruiyot, a representative of the Kenyan Chief Veterinary Officer. He emphasized the need for enhancing cross- border collaboration through harmonized disease surveillance, vaccinations and information sharing to enhance control and or possible eradication of some trans-boundary animal diseases. He thanked the Ugandan government for hosting over 80% of cattle from West Pokot and Turkana counties in Kenya whenever there has been drought that has become cyclic. The workshop was also addressed by Dr. Stephen Kajuara, representing the CVO Uganda and Dr. Wamalwa Kinyanjui, representing the Director of IGAD/ICPALD. The following recommendations were reached:
- Participants recommended the need to consider inclusion of Kween District in Uganda in the multilateral MoU since livestock migration to other districts in Uganda from West Pokot traverse it. Outbreaks of trans-boundary animal diseases are common in the district as a result,
- Need to heighten cross- border conflict mitigation management structures/ committees between West Pokot and Turkana that have frequent issues. The same should be done between Uganda and Kenyan border teams even though relative calm has been witnessed,
- It is important for IGAD to convene a regional consultative meeting between Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan to review the multilateral MoU. Participants to include technical staff, administrative personnel and other relevant stakeholders to review how vaccination activities will be carried out in times of disease outbreak bearing in mind that Uganda is always overstretched with resources by Kenyan livestock in its territory seeking for pasture and water. Kenya always has the vaccines but accessing their livestock in Uganda is a challenge sometimes,
- The two countries to plan for harmonized disease control activities including surveillance, vaccination, treatments and information sharing.
IGAD/ICPALD expresses appreciation to the World Bank for funding this activity through RPLRP project