Our milk programme continues to develop....
Eventually, earlier this year several saanen goats (high milk producers) arrived on site from South Africa after much confusion and delays in transport and quarantine. They were in poor condition, but have recovered well and are now forming the foundation of a higher-yielding herd.
And we need the increase in milk—malnutrition among infants is soaring. Our milk is distributed freely at various locations in the remote areas, to orphaned and AIDS-affected babies, and those whose mothers are too malnourished to effectively breast-feed. So we’re urgently cranking up our goat food production to raise milk yield to meet the ever increasing need for quality nutrition.
In April we made an unannounced visit to the routine “Milk Drop” in Bwanali Village. As we arrived mums with their babies sang and danced in enthusiastic welcome. These children had only been on the programme for a few months, so it was encouraging to see the obvious improvement in their health and weight.
our new saanen stud
One of our greatest joys during our time in Malawi was a visit of a beautiful little girl—Happiness— the first baby to ever receive goats’ milk from OHP. Back in 2007, Happiness lost her mother. She was just a month old, and in the care of her grandmother who was unable to feed her. On the very day we managed to get our first half-cup of clean milk from our goats we heard about their situation and sent milk to them - the beginning of our Milk Programme. This became the daily routine, and Happiness not only survived—she thrived! We lost touch, so it was wonderful to meet her again, bright, beautiful and full of life. Often, the trials and tribulations of dairy goat management in the bush are exasperating, but the goats are worth their weight in gold when it comes to saving ultra-vulnerable babies!
Veterinary Care - This is a major concern—our goat care is probably the best in the country, judging by what else we’ve seen, but veterinary support is almost non-existent. Our local Gov Agri Advisor helps as best he can, but has little expertise, and no medical equipment or drugs. We were stunned to hear that there isn’t even an adequate vet laboratory in the country, and so any serious samples taken would be forwarded to South Africa or Zimbabwe for analysis. We—and the whole area—need a Veterinary Centre!
Any vets out there who would like to help us???
This is page 2 of summer update 2012