Vet Lab and clinic for Ondangwa
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry officially announced construction to begin of the N$67 million Ondandgwa Veterinary Laboratory and Clinic this week.
The soon to be fully developed laboratory will be the second in the country for detecting and investigating of domestic, wild and aquatic diseases north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.
It is set to permanently change the health status of livestock and will reduce and cut down response to animal health calamities.
The agriculture minister, John Mutorwa said at the event that the facility will become a regional centre of excellence in animal disease control and will further bolster ongoing efforts to work towards the suppression of animal diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease and Rabies.
“The facility will further bolster trust with all our current and future trading partners,”the minister added.
Currently samples are sent to the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Windhoek, delaying critical decision making capacity for veterinarians and technicians in the field.
“A competent and well resourced laboratory stands at the centre of animal disease surveillance activities, in terms of the deployment of the latest technology and knowledge in detecting and controlling animal diseases for national and international research initiatives,” Mutorwa said.
He added that, “it is neither a cliché, nor an overstatement to state that the livestock sector of Namibia is an important source of employment and livelihood to the large majority of Namibians.”
Mutorwa stressed that protecting the livelihood and income of people,especially those residing in the remote rural areas and that government will not settle on value for money.
The Northern Communal Areas has been proclaimed Foot and Mouth Disease free for the past twenty odd years. Which has led to the ongoing imports of Bone in Beef exports to South Africa and Zimbabwe.
This was achieved through the Millennium Challenge Account, which last week announced the construction and rehabilitation of water points in the Northern Communal Areas which have contributed to the success of the Community-Based Rangeland and Livestock Management.
Government has also invested in animal health related processes and procedure, aimed at promoting the free trade in livestock and livestock products, through the deployment of the livestock identification and traceability system, throughout Namibia and the regular vaccination and surveillance activities for critical animal diseases.