Thanks to Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with UNMISS, livestock owners in and around Wau have received not only veterinary assistance but also education on breeding healthy animals. Photo by Dawit K. Tedla/UNMISS.
“I rely on my livestock for survival; these animals are like my children,” says Sussane Ibrahim, a cattle keeper who lives in the suburbs of Wau. “If my animals contract a disease, I am deprived of my livelihood.”
Thanks to Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with UNMISS, Sussane and many other livestock owners in and around Wau have received not only veterinary assistance but also education on breeding healthy animals.
The dedicated veterinarians conducted a day-long free camp where they treated some 150 animals.
“My cow was very weak and could barely walk,” reveals Andrea Peter, another cattle owner who was at the camp for treatment. “Now, I’ve received free medicines from the Bangladeshi vets and they have also taught me how to prevent her from getting sick again.”
Peacekeepers also held special sessions with local animal health workers, training them on basic veterinary skills along with equipping them with medicines and tools needed to treat diseased animals.
Amjema Edward, a community animal health worker from the state Ministry of Livestock, Animal Resources & Fisheries, feels that the hands-on training provided by Bangladeshi veterinarians was very useful. “I have learnt how to correctly diagnose and treat numerous diseases that have been prevalent among our livestock here in Wau,” she states.
Healthy livestock is vital for many local communities across South Sudan as a primary source of income.
“We are fully aware how important it is for breeders to ensure that animals receive required care and are disease-free,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamad Al-Mamun, acting commander of the Bangladeshi troops in Wau.
“Access to veterinary care is limited across South Sudan and we hope that with our efforts today, the handover of necessary medicines and equipment to the Ministry, livestock owners will reap benefits,” he continues.
“But perhaps what has been most gratifying is the appreciation we received from local animal owners. We are here to help in any way we can.”
Following sustained interventions by Bangladeshi peacekeepers, cattle herders in Western Bahr el Ghazal have reported a significant reduction in outbreaks of disease.