Livestock: capital protection
In response to the livestock health crisis in southeastern Central African Republic (CAR), humanitarian agencies are setting up adapted protection programs.
“Some friends told me that Zemio had fertile pasture for cattle, and that it was a secure city for my family.” Egui, a veterinary assistant, husband and father of sixteen children, comes from a Peuhl family. He left Yakole, in the Ombella Mpoko prefecture in southwestern CAR, for Zemio (Haut Mbomou prefecture) in 1992. The absence of basic infrastructure, of trained personnel and plant health inputs, caused the spread of bacterial diseases. Egui lost a great deal of his livestock and therefore of his capital.
A devastating epidemic
In early 2011, the Haut Mbomou prefecture went through an epidemic that wreaked havoc on the almost entire small livestock of the area, notably sheep and goats. Though a national vaccination campaign was organized, it did not get all the way to the southeast of the country because of reigning unrest in the area. Present in the area since 2008, ACTED launched an extensive vaccination and deworming campaign in the cities of Zemio and Djemaf, with financial support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department. A total of 1,222 goats, 188 sheep, 6,256 poultry, and 439 pigs, were immunized and dewormed. The campaign was led by nine veterinary assistants, trained by ACTED, with support from the national development and livestock agency, and is aimed at capacity building and strengthening at a local level.
When Egui first heard that ACTED needed people for a veterinary training, he volunteered immediately. “I learned a lot through the training given by ACTED. I can now deworm, vaccinate and heal common diseases. This knowledge will remain with me, and I intend to put it to profit among my community members to protect our livestock.”
The livestock support program has had a positive impact, as no cases of viral diseases have been detected since in Zemio or in its surroundings. “Not only do we protect the livestock, Egui admits, but it also encourages animal reproduction, and therefore strengthens families’ capital, especially for the internally displaced and the Peuhl community.”
Moreover, the activity has also become a source of additional revenue for veterinary assistants. “With the compensation I got from my services, I earned 25,000 CFA Francs (40 Euros). With lick-block production, I intend to supplement my income. If I can, I would then like to open a veterinary pharmacy in Zemio.”
1,222 goats, 188 sheep, 6,256 poultry and 439 pigs immunized and dewormed.
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