According to field reports, the Logone and Chari division was the only one of five in the Far North spared when the African Swine Fever surfaced in April 2010. It rapidly spread to the Mayo-Kani, Mayo-Danay, Mayo-Sava and Diamare administrative divisions; initially culminating in the sudden death of at least 3.000 pigs in just a few days.
Back then, Dr Casimir Marcel Ndongo Kounou, Coordinator of the Program for the Development of the Swine Sector in Cameroon, warned the plague could leave a death toll of 100.000. Contingency measures, including the mass slaughter of infected animals and a ban on the movement of pigs in and out of the infected areas paid off, despite the chagrin of farmers. By December 2010, veterinarians indicated they had successfully tamed the disease spread and scaled down mortality to nil.
African Swine Fever first broke out in Cameroon in 1982, exterminating over 80 percent of the country’s estimated 1.6 million pigs. Ever since, outbreaks have been recurrent with undulating impacts on the country’s pig population and food security. Dr Ndongo Kounou says almost yearly, pig breeding in Cameroon runs the risk of a resurgence of the disease between April and September. But despite the existing knowledge of the epidemiological pattern, he blames the careless attitude of farmers. He says generally they only reluctantly heed to; or simply shun instructions to confine their animals and disinfect their piggeries as well as report suspected cases.