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KCM livestock project has big impact – NGO

June 11, 2014

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Cattle disease-free Copperbelt province is set to become a major livestock region following the success of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) sustainable livelihoods livestock project implemented by Village Water Zambia. Elisha Ng’onomo, the Country Field Director for Village Water Zambia, the project implementing partner, said the whole concept that KCM was giving animals to communities was something beyond any person could dream of having from a privately-owned company.

“We at Village Water Zambia have seen that beyond the numbers there is a big story to tell. These cows are a life-changing gift as people are able to generate income by growing vegetables on a big scale using cow and goat dung, and then using proceeds to meet their monetary needs, including paying school fees for their children,” Mr Ng’onomo said.

The livestock project has been implemented in three areas, namely Chililabobwe, Chingola and Nampundwe, where more than 240 families have received cows and another 160 families organised in cooperatives and women clubs have been provided with more than 1,000 goats since 2010. An extra 320 Goats were earmarked to be given out in August.

The project initially placed 84 cattle in 2010, which has increased to 432 draft and 22 Dairy cattle in 2014, creating a huge impact on livelihoods through wealth creation. From the original 454 animals placed by the project, a total number of 74 have been calved.

Mr Ng’onomo said Village Water Zambia anticipated that the number of animals KCM would have provided in the next 4-5 years would more than double.

“The government has a national restocking programme, and on the Copperbelt, KCM is supporting these efforts through this programme. As the programme goes on, it is expected that non-traditional livestock regions will become major livestock areas that will contribute significantly to national food security, especially nutritional needs from the milk the dairy cows provide,” he said.

Village Water Zambia and KCM is working with the Veterinary Department, Community Development and other stakeholders in the project areas focusing on disease management thereby contributing in the implementation of the national policy on livestock rearing. Two representatives from each of the 20 farmer groups participating in this project also received basic veterinary training as community health workers for project sustainability.

Mr Ng’onomo said empowered families have diversified from cattle rearing into vegetable growing using cow and goat dung as manure for the crops. KCM has in addition to this provided some of the small-scale farmers with motorized pumps for irrigation, ploughs and vegetable seed packs, which has improved their growing of vegetables. This has uplifted families as they are able to send their children to school without encountering financial difficulties.