South Sudan to vaccinate 8 million livestock

By Awan Achiek
The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Central Equatoria State Ministry of Animal Resources, Fisheries, and Tourism on Tuesday launched animal vaccination campaign to rid the country of myriad livestock diseases.
The vaccination exercise which kicked off at a cattle camp on the outskirts of Juba, will see 8 million livestock vaccinated across the country.
Alex Lotiyo Elia, Central Equatoria State Minister of Animal Resources, Fisheries, and Tourism, hailed the development partners for launching the vaccination.
“The purpose of this visit is to monitor the ongoing vaccination of cattle which started almost some two months ago,” Lotiyo told journalists during the one-day livestock vaccination exercise.
Lotiyo urged the development partners to provide continuous assistance to enable them vaccinate more livestock in the country.
“We emphasize the need for the support that should be given to our cattle herders in an effort to help them improve their livelihood,” he disclosed.
He stressed the need for partners to help particularly, Jonglei state government in controlling floods through the construction of dykes in the state to prevent the movement of cattle to Central Equatoria State.
“We also emphasize the issue of peaceful return of cattle to their respective origin, especially in Jonglei and we also urge donors to develop water points in those respective areas to address issues of flooding in Jonglei, to minimize the issue of movement of cattle to Central Equatoria State,” said Lotiyo.
Anne Beathe Kristiansen, Norway’s Minister of International Development, said that the vaccination campaign aims at improving the health of livestock.
“I am very pleased to see this (vaccination) being done through FAO and other UN agencies in order to improve the health of the cattle of South Sudan,” said Beathe.
Beathe said keeping animals alive and healthy is vital in a country where most of the population relies on livestock for their survival.
“The cattle are the backbone of the economy of South Sudan and there is so much potential in improving animals’ health, and hopefully it will improve the breeding, so that it can produce more milk in the future,” she added.
She disclosed that vaccination of livestock will go a long way in improving on food security.
Felix Dzvurumi, Deputy Representative of FAO in South Sudan, said they aim at vaccinating 8 million livestock this year.
“This year we are targeting around 8 million animals. In this camp, it could be thousands, but as I have said the target for the whole country is quite big and that is 8 million,” said Dzvurumi.
“We do this vaccination throughout the year, and we are always vaccinating animals. We have got seasons in which we do intensive campaign,” he added.

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