Since her childhood days in Majok, Martha Agew’s life has relied heavily on rearing livestock. Ms. Agew was one of may beneficiaries as Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan provided cattle keepers in her area with free veterinary services.
“I am a 65-year-old cattle keeper who has been owning more than 500 cows in Achol-Majok in Wau town, but due to an acute shortage of medications I have lost about 30 cows and two goats in recent years, she says, adding that she was aware of plenty of over livestock in frail health.
“If one of our animals was sick, it was either slaughtered or left to die because there was no availability of veterinary services around here. This led to a decline in our livestock production and limited marketing opportunities. But now, thanks to the peacekeepers who offered us free veterinary services we can become more self-sufficient.”
During the veterinary campaign, Joseph Richard Ambuka, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Health in Wau, appealed to the peacekeeping mission to extend its services to other areas outside Wau town.
In South Sudan, the death of a cow or a goat is a big loss, as cattle are important assets. They are not only used as a source of food and to generate income, but also as dowry for marriages and as signs of wealth and power.