Asia / Pakistan / Pro-Poor Livestock / South Asia

Pakistanis risk their lives for their livestock

Pakistan floods

Displaced people fleeing Sindh streamed into Balochistan (photo credit: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN); by 4 August 2010, Pakistan’s worst flooding in 80 years had affected 3.2 million people.

A report last August 2010 from Reuters AlertNet about Pakistan’s struggles to move its flood victims out of danger highlights how important livestock are to Pakistan’s poor. Many refused to be rescued if that meant leaving their valuable animal assets behind to drown or starve to death.

‘. . . Allah Dino was willing to risk his life to save his livestock, the only source of income for many farmers.

‘”This buffalo is worth 100,000 rupees ($1,000). It’s my life’s saving,” he said. . . .

‘Persuading stranded people to agree to leave their villages is one of the biggest challenges for authorities, who have limited resources and must act quickly in case fresh rains cause more devastation.

‘”We will only send our women,” said cattle breeder Murad Baksh. “I will only leave if the water climbs above my head.

‘”Some of the villagers agreed to leave. Some carried their meagre belongings on their heads and managed to get their chickens and goats on the boats as men shouted “God is Great”.

‘Others who finally understood they would not survive if they stayed behind with their buffaloes decided to walk neck-deep in water and pull their animals behind them. . . .’

Read the whole article at Reuters AlertNet: Pakistan struggles to get flood victims out of danger, 9 August 2010.

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