Certain irrigation techniques to spur food production have dangerous side effects

DESERTIFICATION

Photo credit: Feedly

On World Water Day, hear why some techniques in Kenya should carry a serious health warning.

The hidden dangers of irrigation

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by Imogen Mathers

For farmers in Kenya, creative ways to irrigate crops can be the difference between a harvest failing or thriving. In this drought-prone country, access to reliable water sources is a daily challenge.

Few would argue with the need for better irrigation. Yet certain techniques introduced by the government to spur food production have dangerous side effects, warns Bernard Bett, a veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya. The pools and canals that underpin flood irrigation create ideal conditions for mosquitoes to thrive, and are a draw for wildlife to gather and drink. This confluence of elements forms a perfect petri dish for zoonotic diseases such as malaria and dengue to circulate between wildlife, livestock, humans and insects.

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About Dr. B. A. USMAN

I started as a field Veterinary officer with the Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, maiduguri as a lecture & a researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I'm currently the Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) NAFDAC, Nigeria. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I'm a practicing Veterinarian & Strong Advocate of #SDGs most especially #SDGs 1, 2, 4 & 5 I founded Sril Group Ltd.
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