ARUSHA - In an effort to curb trans-boundary diseases, the East African Community (EAC) over the weekend donated a vehicle and equipment to Rwanda for it to step up its fight against Avian Influenza.
The donation, under the European Union (EU) supported regional avian influenza project was also made to the other EAC partner states.
Speaking at the event, Ernest Ruzindaza the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources said that unless such diseases are checked, poultry farming risks losing its potential.
“We are grateful to have this contribution. It comes as a regional boost to other ongoing initiatives in the country,” he said.
He was flanked by the Director General of Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA), Dr Théogène Rutagwenda.
The official called upon his counterparts from other states to put the vehicles to their rightful use, if the sole objective of the project is to be realised.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General (Productive and Social Sectors) Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, observed that the region continues to encounter various challenges in controlling cross-border diseases.
Control of diseases in the region, he said, is a matter of mutual concern and that it is high on the agenda of the regional bloc.
“For instance our meat industry consisting of about 34 million heads of cattle and over fifty million sheep, and twenty nine million goats, 108 million poultry and 3.5 million pigs could be adversely affected,” he said.
Nsengiyumva said that EAC has developed a draft regional communication strategy to guide in communicating disease control messages for specific target groups at regional, national and rural areas.
The EAC treaty emphasises cooperation in surveillance, diagnosis and control of trans-boundary pests and diseases.