144,000 livestock restored in 90 VDCs

KATHMANDU: Over 144,000 livestock in 90 village development committees (VDCs) of five earthquake-affected districts have been restored to the livestock service system in the last four months.

A project — Helping Earthquake-Affected Livestock in Nepal (HEAL-Nepal) — that was launched immediately after the devastating earthquakes of April and May to minimise the loss of livestock assets has supported smallholder farmers of Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Dhading and Gorkha to build transitional sheds, organised animal health camps, and provided nutritious food and breeding facility.

Livestock assets play a crucial role in household economy of rural areas. It is reported that livestock has 36 per cent income share of rural households.

Joseph Miskov, regional advisor for South Asia, USAID-OFDA said the quick intervention by HEAL-Nepal has contributed in reviving the economic activities of rural households and enhanced market linkages.

The 120-day project was funded by Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and implemented by Heifer International in collaboration with the Department of Livestock Services. During the project period, trainings were provided to the locals to build earthquake-resilient sheds to safeguard the income sources of rural livelihoods. Over 5,700 farmers received the training on improving shelters.

HEAL-Nepal has said that 15,145 households of five districts directly benefited due to their prompt intervention after the devastating quakes of April and May. The total cost of implementing the project stood at $855,000. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) conducted by National Planning Commission (NCP) had indicated that the total loss in livestock sub-sector (in 14 affected districts) amounted to $101 million.