LifeNets East Africa - Goat Project
March 9, 2013
July 2012 Update
The LifeNets – East Africa Goat Project has positively touched the lives of many needy people. It has been received enthusiastically with the people in the drier areas where dairy cattle cannot do well since rainfall and pasture is inadequate. Many have anticipated the day when they would receive these wonderful gifts of milking goats.
The first aspect of the process has been to develop an animal husbandry program with direction from governmental agricultural leaders to assure health and longevity for the animals. Next, goat pens called “zero grazing units” have been constructed by recipients as part of their “buy in” showing commitment to the sustainability of the venture. Training sessions about goat keeping were developed taught to all recipients. Lastly, the locating of suitable high quality animals, their purchase, government registration and transport to waiting recipients has been quite a task. The entire Project is complex yet is rolling out in a methodical manner in an effort to maximize every schilling that donors have contributed.
- John Elliott - Senior Pastor East Africa
Following is an update on the LifeNets East Africa - Goat Project from its director, pastor Moses Nyaira.
Hello LifeNets donors,
We appreciate the wonderful love shown by those who funded this project in East Africa. We are pleased to report that many are benefitting from the East Africa Goat Project in Migori, Uchana Nyahera, Got Kachola and Bar Ober. We eventually want to expand the Goat Project to also serve an additional eleven areas in Kenya and one in Tanzania.
The Goat Project will help raise living standards once the goats start providing milk. Goat milk is extremely rich in protein and on high demand in areas where HIV and AIDS is common. There is a belief that goat milk boosts the body immunity for those affected. The goat manure will also be used in the farms as fertilizer.
After passing on the first new-born female goat to another person, as is the policy of this Project, the rest can be sold and the money obtained thereof can be used by the members for their personal basic needs.
As for now the challenges that the project faces are:
The high quality milking goats need protection and care to promote health and prevent disease. An important preliminary requirement is for each recipient to build a good goat barn, or “zero grazing unit.” We feel that such an effort also shows a commitment from the recipient to care for his or her animal. However, many cannot afford to construct one, while widows are assisted in doing so. One solution has been to purchase local goats that are raised for butchering which need no shelter and cost very little by comparison.
Another challenge is finding the heavy milking goats for sale. The main availability is relatively far from the members and therefore involves hiring trucks to transport the goats. From Bar Ober where these goats are found to Got Kachola is over 350 km.. The demand for this type of milking goats is high and therefore getting an adequate supply from one location has been quite a challenge. This therefore makes it expensive to purchase and to transport.
Another challenge is that of inbreeding. Livestock disease outbreaks are common, and Vet. Officers are located far from the members to promptly address such cases in case there is an outbreak.
Feeding management: A well-balanced diet and sufficient quantities of water are a challenge in some areas. Again, a solution is to purchase and provide local butchering goats which can manage okay on sparser food and water.
The members in UCG East Africa are happy and appreciate the Goat Project and are working hard to make it a success story. We appreciate the wonderful love to our brethren in East Africa. May God bless and keep you.