Government lifts quarantine, open market and slaughter house
Veterinary department in Isiolo County has lifted quarantine imposed on livestock three weeks ago for fear of Rift Valley Fever (RVF). County executive committee for agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Mohamud Abdullah Hajj said that traders would now continue with the normal business of slaughtering and transportation of livestock to other markets without fear. Hajj said that slaughtering would start tomorrow (Tuesday, July 17) and urged livestock owners to ensure that all animals are inspected before and after slaughtering. He said that 80percent of wananchi residing in the county depend on livestock and traders have had no business in the last three weeks, and even the county government revenue dwindled. The CEC said that over 75 percent of animals in areas suspected to have been affected by the RVF have been vaccinated and there is no fear of consuming meat but appealed to herders to boil milk. Hajj commended partners like Regional Pastoral Resilience Livelihood Project (RPRLP) for providing vaccines to speed up logistics to officers who were carrying out research which the county government could not execute alone. He assured traders and livestock owners that the county government would closely monitor day to day operations of all markets so that sick animals are not brought to the marketplace. Hajj added that affected areas included Oldonyiro, Garbatula, Sericho, Merti, Kakili and Ngaremara where veterinary officers and mobile teams will be visiting to monitor the situation from time to time. The vice chairman of Isiolo Butchers association Mr. Suleiman Lowasa lauded the government for the swift action taken to control spread of RVF although they had lost businesses. Lowasa said that many meat sellers have also repaired the working premises and assured close working relations with veterinary department to ensure safety of the meat consumers adding that over 50 percent of their customers come from the upper eastern region. The demand for chicken in Isiolo following ban of consumption of meat following an outbreak of RVF had increased greatly at homesteads and hotels. Joel Ndunda, Bomen hotel manager in Isiolo town said majority of residents who are pastoralists and meat lovers have deserted hotels hence contributing to decline of hotel business. A chicken that used to retail at Sh. 600 had been going for Sh.700 up to Sh. 1,500 depending on the breed and weight. Fish that was being sourced from Loyangalani, Marsabit County was going at an average of Sh. 600 to Sh. 700.