In a bid to discuss cooperation and collaboration on information sharing and prevention and control of trade-related Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) at ecosystem level for purposes of facilitating cross-border livestock movement, SMP-AH project held a cross-border meeting for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya at Dire Dawa, Ethiopia from 8th to 10th December 2014. The meeting was attended by a total of 49 participants drawn from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya,, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), FAO, Oxfam and USAID.
In his welcome remarks – presented by Dr Henry Wamwayi – the Director, AU-IBAR Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy noted that despite the abundant livestock resources in the Greater Horn of Africa, several constraints hinder their full exploitation. Key among these are TADs, poor policy environment, unregulated livestock movement and lack of harmonisation and coordination of disease control programmes. He further reiterated that SMP-AH interventions are intended to catalyse cooperation, and enhance intra-and inter-regional trade. Historically, cross-border meetings played a big role in the eradication of Rinderpest and still act as a plausible avenue for facilitating sharing of information and experience among participating countries.
In a bid to discuss cooperation and collaboration on information sharing and prevention and control of trade-related Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) at ecosystem level for purposes of facilitating cross-border livestock movement, SMP-AH project held a cross-border meeting for Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda at Gulu, Uganda from 11th to 13th November 2014. The meeting was attended by a total of 45 participants drawn from South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), FAO and Mercy Corps.
In his welcome remarks, the Director, AU-IBAR – Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, represented by Prof. James Wabacha, reiterated the importance of cross-border meetings in facilitating sharing of animal health information and exchanging experience among participating countries. He further noted that cross-border harmonization and coordination of surveillance and control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) largely facilitated movement of animals for trade and pasture. In his opening remarks, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Uganda, Dr Nicholas Kauta emphasized the need to observe standards while addressing the challenge of TADs in border areas. He recognized that Karamoja cluster had been a reservoir for TADs over the years, whose control had been hindered by security issues that undermined coordination and harmonization of control programmes.
Participating countries highlighted major gaps, key challenges, good practices and lessons-learnt. Notable good practices shared were: multi-stakeholders meetings as exemplified by the Turkana-Amudat cooperation, and the cooperation between veterinary officers and human health staff in control of rabies, RVF and ASF in Busia; community networks for intelligence; joint disease control programmes e.g. vaccination, joint surveillance programmes, imposition of quarantine in case of disease outbreaks at government and community level; ongoing negotiated cross border movement of animals for trade and pasture; adoption of technology in disease surveillance and information sharing such as the Digital Pen Technology for disease reporting; sharing of water and pasture between the Karamojong people of Uganda and Turkana of Kenya, and between the Dukana community in Kenya and the Dilo community of Ethiopia ; establishment of check points and holding grounds to control livestock movement; and sharing of information through veterinary forums and professional associations.
South Sudan has an estimated livestock population of 11.7 million cattle, 12.4 million goats and 12.1 million sheep (MARF2012). But despite the country being so well endowed with livestock resources, it faces several challenges in the sector. High prevalence of diseases, poor condition of stock-routes, high insecurity and cattle raids all hinder livestock productivity. Trade in livestock and livestock products is specifically constrained by the lack of quarantine stations and export slaughter houses. This is further exacerbated by the limited diagnostic facilities, as South Sudan has only three diagnostic laboratories, namely Juba, Malakal and Wau that serve 10 states.
South Sudan has previously benefitted from training programmes in Management Skills development, Epidemiology and Surveillance, Quarantine Practices and Procedures and the ongoing training in Laboratory Techniques organized by the SMP-AH project. In addition to these, further activities are planned under the country activity plan for 2014. To expedite the implementation of the country activity plan, Dr Joseph Magona recently conducted a supervision mission in South Sudan from 28th September to 2nd October 2014. Its main objectives were to: gather an update on the status of implementation of the SMP-AH country activities; identify the challenges impeding project implementation; ascertain the status of production of national animal health bulletins; and solicit articles for the IGAD Regional Animal Health Bulletin.
- New regional livestock association (NEALCO) to promote trade in livestock and livestock products in IGAD , COMESA and EAC
- Animal Health Stakeholders from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania Meet to Discuss Harmonization and Coordination of the Cross Border Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases
- SMP-AH held its 3rd Project Steering Committee Meeting
- Bridging the gap between veterinary technical knowledge and practice: 25 veterinary officers from the Greater Horn of Africa complete an 18 weeks training course in Management Skills Development