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FAO donates cold storage rooms to enhance Namibia’s veterinary services

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has made a significant contribution to strengthening Namibia’s veterinary services and improving livestock health in the northern regions of the country with the donation of a freezer room and a cold storage room valued at USD 26 000 (approximately N$ 500 000) to the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.

The addition of these cold storage rooms, which are strategically located at the DVS satellite office in Nkurenkuru in Kavango West region, is set to significantly enhance the DVS’s capacity to combat animal diseases and improve overall livestock health in the regions north of the veterinary cordon fence, also referred to as the “red line”. The freezer and cold rooms will ensure improved vaccine storage by maintaining optimal temperatures, thus preserving the efficacy of vaccines, and enhancing the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. They will also enable enhanced sample preservation, allowing biological samples to be stored for longer periods and aiding in accurate disease diagnosis and monitoring. Additionally, the increased storage capacity strengthens biosecurity measures, reducing the spread of diseases and protecting the health of livestock.

“We are pleased to support the Namibian government in its efforts to strengthen veterinary services and improve livestock health,” said Eugene Kanguatjivi, FAO National Project Coordinator. “These cold storage facilities will play a critical role in ensuring the availability of effective vaccines, facilitating accurate diagnoses, and ultimately safeguarding the health of livestock farmers. The donation was enabled through the recently concluded FAO project called “Emergency Technical Support to Control the Spread of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) in Namibia.” The project focused on improving disease surveillance, vaccination coverage, and the overall capacity of veterinary services to manage and prevent outbreaks.

CBPP is a highly contagious bacterial disease affecting cattle, with significant economic impacts due to livestock mortality and reduced productivity. The project aimed to control and eradicate the devastating livestock disease commonly referred to as Lung Sickness. Commenting on the donation, Dr. Sara Gottlieb, DVS State Veterinarian based in Nkurenkuru, noted the significance

of the donation. “The donation of these cold storage rooms will help improve our work in the [Kavango West] region. Previously, we had to rely on storing vaccines at Rundu in the neighbouring region, which posed logistical challenges, but now we can store them here at our office. This improves the efficiency of our work and reduces the risk of the vaccines becoming ineffective.” Through the same project, FAO also supported DVS with the training of over 3000 farmers across all the northern regions of Namibia on CBPP awareness and donated camping equipment, laboratory equipment and a vehicle to help strengthen DVS capacity in controlling livestock diseases.

-Press release/FAO