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The tsetse flytrap

The tsetse fly problem

Kathekani is a semi-arid region of Kenya where around 1900 people live in about 300 households. Most of these people are farmers, although erratic rainfall makes growing crops a risky business. Farmers in Kathekani can expect a successful crop just once every four years.

As a result, most farmers also keep livestock like chickens, goats and cows to feed their families. Some farmers sell produce such as milk and eggs as an extra source of income. Only in emergencies, for example if they need to pay for hospital treatment or school fees, do farmers consider selling their animals. Keeping your livestock is a sign of success in Kathekani.

Cows are considered particularly important - some people have just one or two, while others own small herds. However, the farmers in Kathekani face a constant battle against a terrible enemy - the tsetse fly. This tiny insect carries a disease called trypanosomiasis, which can devastate whole herds of cattle and destroy the livelihoods of farmers and their families.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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