Government of Namibia has set aside 200 million Namibian dollars (16.5 million U.S dollars) to fight foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that has spread in north part of the country.
The Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa told the media Wednesday in the capital Windhoek that a cabinet committee had recommended immediate and urgent action to curb further spread of the disease that is threatening more than 1.2 million cattle.
The first cases of the latest FMD outbreak in the northern regions of Namibia were reported in Oshikoto region on May 11 this year, and the committee met on May 20 to brief cabinet on its findings. Cabinet discussed and made its recommendations Tuesday.
No cases of animal deaths have yet been reported although the disease has since spread to two other region – Kunene and Omusati.
Apart from putting aside money, Mutorwa said government has banned marketing of cattle and cattle products in the affected northern regions as well as the movement of animals.
He also said government will also vaccinate all the animals in the affected regions starting this week and then after 30 days.
Roadblocks, the minister said, will be set up to help contain and restrict movement of cattle or cattle products from the affected regions.
Mutorwa said the disease has been traced to Angola after infected cattle came into contact with Namibian herd because there is no fence between the two countries.
“As a result, the cabinet is of the view and accordingly decided that the permanent lasting solution to control the outbreak of animal diseases in the northern regions of Namibia is the erection of a livestock fence, between Namibia and Angola international border to control the movement of animals between the two countries and to allow for designated veterinary control points where such animals can and must be allowed to move strictly under control,” he said.
To be able to carry out these tasks, Mutorwa said government will employ about 250 contract workers to help with vaccinations and monitoring movement of cattle.
At least 40 vehicles have also been deployed to cover the short fall and be on standby in the event of breakdowns. Enditem