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SMP-AH facilitates signing of an agreement between Kenya and Tanzania for enhanced collaboration and cooperation in cross-border disease control

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A bilateral cross-border meeting was held in Naivasha, Kenya from 7th- 9th December 2015 with the aim of supporting harmonization and coordination of veterinary activities for control of trade related TADs in cross border areas along the Kenya-Tanzania border. The meeting brought together 53 participants from Kenya, Tanzania, East African Community (EAC) secretariat and African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). Participants consisted of senior members of the National Veterinary Departments, County governments and District Councils, Livestock keepers, representatives from Local NGO and State department of Foreign Affairs.

In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona on behalf of the Director of AU – IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, noted that the bilateral cross-border meeting for Kenya and Tanzania was intended to operationalize action plans developed during previous regional cross-border meetings through developing a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries to allow countries work together in cross-border areas.

In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Acting Director of IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), Dr Solomon Munyua, stated that there was need to recognize the fact people in cross-border areas along the Kenya-Tanzania border depended on livestock for their livelihood, a fact that justified two governments developing an agreement to help effective control of transboundary animal diseases that affect their livestock. He further encouraged sister nations to ensure sustained efforts and commitment in developing the bilateral agreement to completion and thereafter to cooperate fully with each other during its implementation. Finally, he requested the two sister nations to domesticate the MoU with legal language applicable.

In her remarks, Dr. Niwael Mtui-Malamsha, Acting Assistant Director for TADs & Zoosanitary Inspectorate services, the Head of Delegation from Tanzania, thanked AU – IBAR and ICPALD for their continued support to the countries through SMP – AH project.

In his official opening, Dr Kisa Juma Ngeiywa, the Director of Veterinary Services in Kenya, stated collaboration in provision of Veterinary Services between the two countries was critical. He stated that collaboration would promote Animal health, Human Health, Animal welfare, Environment conservation among others, thus leading to increased livestock productivity, livestock trade and consequently improving livelihoods for livestock keepers. He further noted that the livestock sector was faced with several challenges. Among which were resistance to antimicrobials, uncontrolled livestock movements due to porous borders, and rampant spread of animal diseases. He stressed the need to create collaboration between Kenya and Tanzania in view of harmonizing animal health and sanitary issues along the Kenya-Tanzania border. He further noted the county of Kajiado in Kenya had appealed to the national government to assist resolving potential disputes regarding livestock movement from Tanzania into Kajiado County in search of markets posing disease prevention and control challenges.

The Meet agreed on the following areas of collaboration:

  1. Control of trans-boundary animal diseases(TADs) and vectors, i.e. FMD, CBPP, PPR, CCPP, Blue tongue, ASF, S&G pox, RVF, Rabies, LSD, Brucellosis and other emerging diseases through surveillance, detection, vaccination, reporting, information sharing, livestock movement control, and awareness creation for communities
  2. Mapping and control of stock routes, livestock markets, zoo-sanitary border posts and natural resources (water and pasture), including control of invasive weeds
  3. Enforcement of regulations on use of veterinary drugs and vaccine
  4. Control of Livestock movements and facilitate livestock trade through health inspection and certification
  5. Access to cross-border livestock related infrastructure including Diagnostic Laboratories, Cold Chain, and Holding Grounds
  6. Joint promotion of Livestock Identification and Traceability
  7. Joint coordinated capacity building of stakeholders
  8. Promotion of Cross-border networking among stakeholders
  9. Commit resources (financial, infrastructure and personnel) to achieve the agreed animal health issues and sanitary measures

Administrative areas identified along the Kenya and Tanzania border for implementation of the agreement included, Narok, Kajiado, Kwale, Migori, Taita Taveta (in The Republic of Kenya), Rorya, Tarime, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Longido, Rombo, Mwanga, Lushoto and Mkinga (in The United Republic of Tanzania).

The meeting recommended the following:

To AU-IBAR

  1. To facilitate the rest of the process to finalise the MoU and initiate the implementation of the MoU

To MS

  1. the DVS/CVO to consider reviewing the existing procedures to issue movement permits across the borders, taking note of the development at the regional level
  2. Counties and Districts were encouraged to sensitize and work with stakeholders including livestock communities and promote the ownership of the process
  3. Counties/districts were encouraged to embark on any cross border activities where possible
  4. It was recommended that the Cabinet Secretary or /Minister responsible for Livestock Development of the partner countries were to appoint members of JSC

As a way forward, the Task Force was dispatched to finalize the agreement at Bagamoyo, Tanzania from 18th to 23rd December 2015