Bangladeshi veterinarians support animal conservation efforts in Wau
WESTERN BAHR EL GHAZAL –Lack of veterinary support continues to be a challenge for animal breeders, even as livestock is an essential source of income for communities in South Sudan.
Critically, this inadequacy spills over into sustainably protecting this young nation’s biodiversity.
In Wau, the capital of Western Bahr El Ghazal state, local wildlife officials have been fighting a losing battle in this regard, until help came in the form of Bangladeshi veterinarians serving for peace with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
These Blue Helmets handed over much-needed supplies to the local animal reserve here, including disinfectants, vaccinations, medicines, and hand pumps to ensure a portable water supply.
What’s more, they even rolled their sleeves up to provide some necessary care to animals at the reserve.
For Bibiana Anthony Delfino, a veterinary officer with the state Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, this was a welcome intervention.
“We are heartened by the show of support from UNMISS peacekeepers. We have been fighting the odds to keep our animals safe from disease and pests and our friends from Bangladesh have given us vital resources that will help keep them in the pink of health,” stated Bibiana with a smile.
Such interventions are part of the UN Peacekeeping mission’s overall efforts to boost community confidence, reveals Colonel Mohamad Shafquat-ul-Islam, Commanding Officer of the Bangladeshi battalion in Wau.
“By extending helping hands to the communities we are on the ground to serve, we build a culture of cooperation and harmony. There is a direct correlation between economic empowerment and conflict reduction,” stated the Colonel.
For his part, Brigadier-General Dafala Khamis, Director of Wildlife, lauded UNMISS.
“We don’t get much in the way of funding to keep the zoo operational and, therefore, the health of the animals housed here is critical because many families with young children come here, paying a nominal entrance fee, which is what primarily keeps us in business. Thanks to peacekeepers, we have hope that we will be able to give these animals a better life,” he averred.
Bangladeshi Blue Helmets also trained local animal keepers on disease prevention.