Nepalgunj, December 2015- Nepalgunj is an equine hub of Nepal form where traders and suppliers supply working equines in different part of the nation. Traders purchase equines from animal festivals of India and brought to Nepalgunj. Many people comes to Nepalgunj during December of each year to buy equines. Usually horses and mules sent to hill/mountain region of Nepal to carry loads. Horses and mules are also used in brick kiln. Similarly donkeys sent to different part of Terai and Kathmandu valley to carry bricks to and fro brick kiln.
Animal Nepal has extended its outreach programme in Nepalgunj to address root cause of equine abuse and make a lasting change in the lives of Nepal’s working equines. This season, AN team did following things at Nepalgunj:
Establish an education/resource center:
During off brick production season of each year, equine owners come back to Nepalgunj. They have nothing to do during that time. Only few of them works to pull buggy but many of them just sits and talks from early morning to evening. So we established a resource center/education park where equine owners can come and learn as much as possible about donkey welfare which ultimately benefit them. AN has planned to organize series of training and workshops like wound management training, better harness development, behavior communication with their donkeys, cause of lameness, symptoms of different disease and way of prevention and understand value of donkeys at the resource center. Hope the place will be effective to upgrade lives of both donkeys and their owners.
Meeting with equine user group:
Team of Animal Nepal have couple of meeting with equine user group to identify their current situation, number of equine, their plan to go to brick kilns and place and related contemporary issues. Out of 25 owners about 50 % of them have plan to go to Kathmandu valley and remaining in other district of Nepal. We also found that many of them from 50% who are planning to work outside of Kathmandu valley are going to work in Dhading. After the devastating quake of April 2015, many kilns of Kathmandu valley shut down and later on they shifted to Dhading, a nearby district of Kathmandu.
Proceed for equine user group registration:
Animal Nepal were having problem to work with equine owners in the past because they are very disorganized. So AN planned to make a group which hopefully makes easy to access them. During the trip to Nepalgunj our team managed to help them to make an official minutes and application which later on has submitted to District Livestock Service Office of Banke from where the group will get a formal letter/certificate so they can act as a formally registered group. Once they are in a registered group it will help them to get government subsidies or related service package both from government and non-government agencies in future. It would also be very easy for us to reach them and implement community based programmes.
Meeting with micro credit women group:
AN with the help from The Donkey Sanctuary UK has introduced a micro credit service to wives of equine owners. The project aim to introduce saving culture within the community so they will be able to uplift their financial status which ultimately going to be supportive to bring positive changes in the lives of donkeys. The group is somehow passive after the quake. Now they are looking for some support which could link them with some entrepreneurs or industry form where they can get in house job to do. Usually they don’t prefer to go out for work because of their cultural believes so it would be better if they can generate some money by doing some work sitting in their own home. Animal Nepal has trained few woman to make good quality of harness in the past. But they may need regular fallow-up and extra support to establish on their business.
Meeting with DLSO and Nepalgunj sub metropolitan city:
AN team also have two meeting respectively with District Livestock Service Office of Banke and Nepalgunj sub metropolitan city. Stray animals has been a massive problems for the metropolitan so they are looking for a good partnership with an organization like Animal Nepal to control the problems. Similarly the team has a good meeting with DLSO for future collaboration.
Kanji house visit:
Kanji house is a place where sub metropolitan city collects abandon animals including donkeys and keep it in the house. The owner of animals have to pay fine to release his/her animals. The house is quite small and there is no partition to put different animals separately. The house is also lacking care takers. AN team also talked to sub metropolitan city for the improvement of the Kanji house.