ARUSHA – In an effort to curb trans-boundary movement of diseases in the East African Community (EAC), the regional bloc has received seven Land Rovers through funds donated by the European Union (EU).
The donation was made under the EAC regional Avian Influenza Response Project which aims at producing quality animals to match the requirements for the rapidly increasing population and also create surpluses for export.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after receiving the donations, the EAC Secretary General, Juma Mwapachu, said the vehicles would contribute much in effective disease-control as well as active surveillance among the five partner states.
“Since avian influenza was reported in countries like Egypt and Sudan, it is important to keep on the look out because it can also be transferred by human beings.” Mwapachu said.
“So, we talked to the EU about this project and they were kind enough to offer support.”
According to Mwapachu, the EAC animal disease control strategy is based on early detection and early response so that diseases are contained at their source.
He added that the vehicles would help in the transfer of information, movement of rapid responses teams, and transportation of samples.
The three year health project, the first of its kind at the EAC secretariat, is funded to the tune of Euro 3 million, part of which is channelled through the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which works closely with partner states.
The emerging and re-merging diseases in the region still pose a big challenge to livestock production in the region.