Ethiopia: Red Cross striving to restore livelihood of pastoralists displaced by ethnic violence

28 August 2018
Ethiopia: Red Cross striving to restore livelihood of pastoralists displaced by ethnic violence
12 members of the community received theoretical and practical training in veterinary service as part of the program intended to benefit 8,000 families. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Alemayehu Takele

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in partnership with Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS), is supporting the Oromia Pastoral Areas Development Commission to help communities displaced by ethnic violence access veterinary services.

"All government-owned veterinary facilities existing in the areas were set ablaze and looted during the violence," said Dr Abdi Jibril, Meyu district, Pastoral Development Office Head. "The veterinarians also fled the areas. Because of these problems, the cattle, the major source of the livelihood of the communities, at greater risk of affected by different animal diseases recurring in the areas."

The program is aimed to help 48,000 people in eight localities of Meyu district in the Oromia region of eastern Ethiopia. Twelve people from local communities took part in a three-week intensive training to provide veterinary services.

The ICRC and ERCS are working to enable the displaced communities to have access to veterinary services in a mobile and sustainable manner. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Alemayehu Takele

"The ICRC and ERCS are working to enable the displaced communities to have access to veterinary services in a mobile and sustainable manner–and ultimately restore their livelihoods," said Dr Zelalem Yaekob, a field officer working for the ICRC.

The trainees are also provided each with a full kit, containing veterinary equipment and drugs, necessary for the treatment of animal diseases at reasonable prices. A veterinary pharmacy which will supply medicines will also be established soon in an area center to the localities with an aim to make the services sustainable, according to Dr Zelalem.

One of the trainees, Muktar Abdulahi, said, "We are not only trained to diagnose and treat animal diseases but also to give vaccinations and our communities on how to control disease outbreaks."