For families in rural Haiti, livestock is often considered a living savings account. Heifer International has provided 30,000 farming families with all types of livestock: goats, cattle, pigs, poultry, etc. Families receive extensive training in the care of their livestock, and project participants with the interest and aptitude are further trained as vet agents. Veterinarians are few and far between in rural Haiti, making them a valuable resource. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Heifer International Haiti helps farmers keep their livestock healthy.
Last month, Hurricane Matthew devastated the homes and farms of many farmers in the southern and northwestern regions. "None of us were exempt from the damage caused by the hurricane," said Marguy Tanis, a Heifer-trained vet tech and community promoter in Grand-Anse.
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In the aftermath of the hurricane, providing food and sanitary kits to the farmers in our program was a top priority, as was keeping their livestock alive and healthy. Two days after the hurricane, more than 75 vet agents, vet technicians and community promoters were deployed to the most affected communities to assess the damages and provide emergency veterinary care.
Livestock were immunized, dewormed, treated for injuries and infections, and given electrolytes and vitamins.
"Without Heifer's help, we don't know what we would do with our remaining animals. The vet agents have visited each family individually, as some communities were unreachable, and the people would not be able to bring their livestock to the mobile clinic here in Charlier," said Micheline Joseph, the coordinator of a community organization with which Heifer works in Les Nippes.
One month after the disaster, Heifer Haiti, in collaboration with the ministry of Agriculture, and the tireless vet team have treated and immunized more than 30,000 livestock.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Heifer International Haiti helps farmers keep their livestock healthy.