“We really needed this facility because we have been overrun with complaints from local herders and community members about the lack of treatment available for sick animals,” said county commissioner Deng Agok, who received the official handover from the UN Peacekeeping mission’s protection, transition and reintegration section.
“The majority of people earn their livelihoods from breeding animals and the ongoing floods have made it very, very difficult for them since many herds have contracted diseases,” continued Agok.
The county commissioner’s views were supported by community leader Stephen Dhieu Dau. “Our lives depend on the trade that healthy animals bring in and this gesture from UNMISS will go a long way in securing our income,” Dau added.
Bodhok Ayang Aney Kur, Governor of Upper Nile, while appreciating UNMISS, reiterated his commitment to supply the clinic with medicines and vaccinations.
“Our partners at UNMISS have done their job and now it’s our turn,” stated governor Kur. “I have already been in touch with counterparts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Health in Juba to purchase necessary equipment, medicines and vaccinations and our veterinarians will soon be able to start treating livestock.”
The construction of the clinic, which was instructed by the UN Peacekeeping mission under its Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) programme that addresses urgent public needs by funding low-cost, small-scale projects, was overseen by local implementing partner, Mentor Initiative Organization.
The facility is also expected to promote greater social cohesion among communities in Melut. “We hope the clinic will promote peaceful coexistence in Melut and nearby villages, providing a space for livestock owners to congregate, ensure their animals are in good health and support each other,” said Leda Limann, head of the mission’s field office in Malakal.