For centuries, livestock keeping has been a major source of livelihood for pastoralists and agro-pastoralist communities in Nigeria, especially in the North East, North Central, and North West regions. However, the ongoing armed conflict has displaced millions of people affecting the livelihoods of communities including livestock rearing communities.
In 2021, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the respective state ministry of livestock has been working in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States providing training to livestock owners, support to veterinary hospitals, Community Animal Health Worker Training and conducting livestock vaccination and treatment campaigns. We also provided displaced livestock owners with small grants to help them restore their livelihoods.
In Adamawa State, we supported the vaccination of nearly 400,000 livestock (goats, sheep, and cattle). The vaccination covered five Local Government Areas (LGAs) including Mayo Belwa, Maiha, Michika and Madagali. While in Maiduguri, Borno State, over 10,000 livestock owned by displaced people in Bakassi IDP Camp benefited from vaccination and treatment of their livestock against important livestock diseases. We also supported Senator Ali Modu Sheriff Veterinary Hospital with veterinary drugs and equipment benefiting over 20,000 livestock and poultry-keeping households. Additionally, pastoral communities in hard-to-reach locations in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States had Community Animal Health Worker Training to strengthen livestock health service delivery.
Vaccination campaigns ensure that animals are protected against diseases, which assists in saving money that could be lost to the high cost of treating sick livestock. Healthy livestock also produces higher milk yields and thus additional income for households.