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Floods destroy 15,000 livestock

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By Francis Namondwe:

At least 15,000 domesticated animals have been lost to floods in the country.

Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division (ADD) statistics indicate that 15,444 livestock drowned after heavy rains swelled into floods that killed and displaced people.

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The Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development has, meanwhile, bemoaned the development.

The department’s director, Patrick Chikungwa, said this during the launch of the Flood Emergency Response Programme being implemented in conjunction with World Animal Protection (Wap) experts at Jombo Dip Tank in Chikwawa District.

Wap has supplied drugs and vaccine for the surviving livestock.

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“In Shire Valley ADD alone, we have lost 60 cattle, 144 pigs, 1,272 chickens and 2,968 goats to floods. That is why World Animal Protection and our department will conduct flood response interventions where veterinary services have been suggested to support communities in rebuilding their livestock-based livelihoods. We are also advising the farmers to take up the responsibility of taking care of their livestock by providing good food and houses,” Chikungwa said.

Wap Response Officer- Animals in Disasters Africa, Victor Toroitich, said their objective was to protect the remaining livestock from internal and external parasites by deworming them.

“When we learnt about Cyclone Desmond and Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, we realised the need to come and provide veterinary assistance because, apart from parasites, the animals become stressed and need timely intervention,” Toroitich said.

Agriculture Stakeholder Panel Chairperson in N’gabu, Francis Thole, said the assistance provides hope to farmers who depend on livestock in Nsanje and Chikwawa.

Some of the diseases livestock suffer from are foot rot and laminitis, copper deficiencies, lumpy skin diseases, foot and mouth, trypanosomiasis and tick borne.

The Wap Team provided similar support in the district in 2015.

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