The Tanzanian government is set to deploy a team of experts to assess the situation in the Lake Zone following the outbreak of bird flu in the neighboring Uganda, a senior official said Wednesday.

Mary Mashingo, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, said the team will work in the immediate neighboring of Uganda, Kagera region and others such as Mwanza, Mara, and Kigoma.

“We are currently in the planning meeting discussing the travel logistics for the team,” the official said, noting that their terms of reference will include surveying the situation in the regions and contain the situation in the early stage, just in case.

She did not immediately name the number of experts to be deployed and how long they will stay in the field as such were the details that were being discussed at Wednesday’s meeting in the ministry.

Dr. Mashingo said the ban will affect product from all countries to plug holes on the possibility of businessmen cheating and bringing in infected birds in the east African nation.

The official said that the government has also imposed ban on importation of poultry products from all countries in a preventive measure to avoid the disease which is already wreaking havoc across the border.

Kenyan and Rwandan authorities said Wednesday they had banned poultry products from neighbouring Uganda, where a virulent H5 strain of avian flu has broken out.

“The government banned importation of poultry and poultry products from Uganda with immediate effect,” said Kenya’s agriculture cabinet secretary Willy Bett at a press conference.
The move from Nairobi comes two days after Rwanda also blocked poultry imports.
“Rwanda has put in place measures to prevent the disease. We have temporarily halted the import of poultry and poultry products,” Christine Kanyandekwe from the country’s agricultural department said Wednesday.
She said Rwanda imports 50,000 day-old chicks and 100 tonnes of eggs from Uganda per month. Figures for Kenya were not immediately available.

The deadly viral disease was detected in dead birds in Uganda last weekend and sent shockwaves in the neighboring countries that share a porous border with Uganda.