|A man making a tsetse fly trap|
Over 4.7million Kenyans are no longer at a risk of contracting sleeping sickness after African Development Bank (AfDB) project to create a sustainable ad free tsetse fly and trypanomiasis areas.
The Sh859 million project started in 2001 covered three project areas in Mwea Game Reserve area in Meru, Ruma National Park in Lake Victoria region and Lake Bogoria Game reserve which covered over 24,000km2 of land.
“The project which ended in 2010 involved mass-rearing of tsetse flies, sequential release of gamma-radiated sterile males to curb reproduction and traainnig of over 6,000 community members in involvement in baseline data collection and processing,” AfDB said in their report.
Other methods involved using community crush pens and tsetse fly traps and use of insecticides and logistical support to in head offices in Kisumu, Nakuru and Embu by offering six motor vehicles and 10 motorcycles among other items.
Equaly locals and cattle were treated for any symptoms of sleeping sickness and farmers trained on eradication and farming techniques.
“The project’s aim was to end tsetse fly and trypanomiasis risk which was a serious obstacle to poverty reduction and food security and ease difficulties experienced by people infected areas in obtaining an early diagnosis due to the lack of access to basic health care,” the bank said.
The report says that 6 million herd of cattle in the designated areas have been freed from tsetse fly affect which has increased meat and milk production annually by 13,360 and 180,000 metric tonnes respectively.
The project was attained by a total of 210 staff from AfDB, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Ministries of Livestock and Public Health and Sanitation.
The same project was carried out in other East and West African countries.