On Monday, April 18th, Edward Loure received the Goldman Environmental Prize for his longstanding dedication to land rights in Tanzania. Loure, a Maasai herder himself, works for Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), a local NGO with whom Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium fights for land rights of Maasai pastoralists. Thanks to their pioneering work in northern Tanzania, pastoralists now have legal certainty about their traditional access to land.
The launch of project ‘EVE’ (Energie Verte & Elevage – Green Energy & Livestock) took place on Tuesday 30th September in Nyamagabe district in Southern Province of Rwanda, with the participation of many invited guests, including local and national dignitaries, representatives of VSF Belgium’s partners from local and international NGOs, including IMBARAGA (VSF’s main local partner), and the representative from the Belgian embassy in Kigali.
“We will build a better future for everyone by giving people the freedom and the power to build a better future for themselves and their families.” These wise words came from Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. It is likewise a slogan adopted by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières. With your support and commitment, thousands of livestock keepers were able to improve their standard of living in 2013. Here is a brief glimpse into some of the achievements you made possible!
Your contribution to a healthy and productive livestock in Africa bears fruit. In 2012, your support allowed thousands of children and their families in Africa to fight against malnutrition and to face drought, conflicts, and weakening of their animals.
In the run up to Rio + 20, European deputies and environmental and development experts organize a hearing on the 5th of June, in the European Parliament in Brussels, to address their concerns on the possible external effects of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union.
A humanitarian catastrophe has once again hit the Horn of Africa. More than 11 million people are in urgent need of food aid and, in the most affected areas, more than half of the children are suffering from malnutrition. This is horrifying news. Images of under-nourished, skeletal children haunt our minds. However, was this situation not predicted? And is drought the real cause for this new food crisis?
Within the Lakes State (central South Sudan), many children are seriously undernourished and victims of a conflict that has raged throughout the country for many years. A lot of children have fled; some of them have seen their parents killed in front of them... Despite the recent independence of South Sudan, peace still remains fragile.
Niger is in the grip of a food crisis. Over 6.4 million people do not have enough to eat and are living from day to day, not knowing if there will be sufficient food tomorrow to stave off their hunger. The crisis has been caused chiefly by persistent drought, failed harvests and high food prices. As with drought, the first heavy rains can also prove fatal for livestock. Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is now providing emergency aid to farmers and their animals in Niger, as losing their livestock would be a catastrophe for the majority of Nigeriens.
The Sahel region of Africa is currently suffering a severe food crisis. In Niger, one of the countries most affected, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is taking necessary measures to minimise the impact of the crisis on the population. Staff member Josti Gadeyne went to the West African country last June and kept a diary, capturing the most memorable moments of her visit.
Livestock keeping is often criticized as a contributor to climate change. Yet the sector is not uniformly detrimental to the environment and may even guarantee biodiversity. A study conducted by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium indicates that small-scale livestock keeping in the South can respond effectively to climate challenges through the mobility of pastoralists and the use of manure to repel insects.