Frontline Stories

Saving animals to save lives

Tags:

That weekend, a village in Upper Nile State, South Sudan was gradually filled with around 100 cows for the vaccination campaign. Chan, who directs veterinary services in the area, says, “Livestock and farming are very important parts of South Sudan’s culture. When there is vaccination, the pastoralists are active, ensuring their livestock are protected from diseases.”

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), estimates that South Sudan's livestock population is around 12 million cattle, 20 million sheep and 25 million goats, making it a world leader in terms of animal wealth per capita.

So far, the vaccination campaign has been able to provide services, including deworming, vaccination, treatment and other prevention work, to over 20,000 cows. That day, at least 15 volunteers assisted Chan in carrying out the services.

Chan explains, “These animals are the communities’ sources of milk, meat and income. In 2013 when diseases hit, at least 230 cows reportedly died in the area. That has not happened again since this programme started in 2014. I am happy working with World Vision. I really love the job.”

The expanded programme now includes market monitoring and disease surveillance. World Vision is building the volunteers’ capacity, so that they can handle all the work in the future without depending on any organisation. Many of the pastoralists can now afford to buy the vaccines in the local market, and World Vision encourages them to do that while focusing on assisting the neediest.

Apart from income and food, cows play a special role in South Sudanese marriages through traditional dowries. Depending on the status of a woman, the dowry could range from 30 to as many as 100 cows. The marriage does not become officially approved until the agreement is met and delivered. The most current price for a cow is between SSP 40,000-60,000 (HKD2,400-3,610).

Chan further adds, “The summer time is very challenging for pastoralists because of the lack of available grazing land. We also need to keep educating them to be responsible for their own animals. Many are threats to farms, destroying crops when they are left on their own. World Vision’s work has been making a lot of difference in the lives of farmers and pastoralists in our communities.”

“The project covers two counties and targets trans-boundary animal diseases prevention, detection and control, through vaccination and treatment of over 300,000 animals by 82 trained community animal health workers in a period of two years, to strengthen pastoral and agro-pastoral food security and nutrition,” says Wilson, a World Vision’s Programme Manager. “It is setting up early warning information systems, engaging the target community on diversification of agro-pastoral livelihoods and improving natural resource management practices in cross-border areas on a sustainable basis.”

We are Humanitarians

[2019/08/19] As a responsive humanitarian organisation, World Vision works in over 100 countries in the world. Everywhere we ......

Rich Parents, Poor Parents

[2019/06/01] Parents normally would do anything to make their children’s lives better out of good intention, but sometimes th......

Savings Groups Transform Families

[2019/05/15] Have you ever thought that the comprehensive banking and financing systems we can access at our fingertips is a ......

Unleashing the Power of Girls

[2019/03/08] This particular afternoon, a group of about 20 girls in karate outfits are practising their strikes and moves.

Give New Hope to Migrants

[2018/12/18] In a report released in October this year, the UN Refugee Agency warned that funding is falling increasingly beh......

Starting a School from Scratch

[2018/10/05] Kenyi says, “I just thought about the future of the children in the camp and came up with the decision to leave ......

Sewing Hope in Rwanda

[2018/09/21] Today, an unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from their homes due to conflicts,......

Empty Promises Turned Into New Hopes

[2018/08/23] Samnang and his family used to make a living by working on their rice fields. One day, a friend from his village......

Keeping Refugee Children Safe during the Monsoons

[2018/08/19] Children in the world’s largest refugee camp now face less risk of being lost or separated from their families d......