SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
GOVERNMENT has started conducting free vaccination of cattle in Vubwi District in Eastern Province aimed at preventing an outbreak of the foot and mouth diseases.
District Commissioner (DC) Eneles Banda led the team of officers from the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to provide free vaccines which began recently.
Ms Banda thanked President Edgar Lungu for considering livestock farmers in Vubwi as beneficiaries of the vaccination exercise.
She said it was good to see government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, embarking on a free cattle vaccination exercise.
Ms Banda said she was hopeful that the exercise would prevent an outbreak of the toot and mouth disease and other animal diseases in the district.
“We are excited that this programme has come to Vubwi, and we thank President Edgar Lungu for this gesture. This is a clear demonstration of the love that the President has for us. Our animals will now be prevented from contracting foot and mouth disease,” She said.
Ms Banda said each animal would have been vaccinated at a fee of K50 had it not been for the free vaccines Government procured for the district.
And a headman of Chikoma area, Gabriel Banda, who spoke on behalf of other livestock farmers could not hide his joy.
Mr Banda thanked Government for the free vaccinations saying many livestock farmers in the district would not have managed to raise money for all their animals to be vaccinated.
“Bwana DC, we are overjoyed. We are so excited because we would not have managed to raise money for all our animals to be vaccinated. Many of them would have died. But because we have a caring President and government, all our animals have been vaccinated for free,” he said.
“Some people would have sold two or three animals in order to raise money for the vaccines because they are very expensive. We ask you, madam, to pass our sincere gratitude to the President. We are so thankful,” headman Chikoma said.
The livestock sector contributes about 39 percent to rural incomes in Zambia, making the control of foot and mouth disease and other livestock diseases and their vectors a critical priority.
Recently, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock permanent secretary David Shamulenge was in Vubwi to launch the free vaccination exercise, which is coming to an end this Friday.