World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Congolese Introduced To The Cow-Drawn Plough

UN Peacekeepers Introduce Local Congolese To The Cow-Drawn Plough

New York, Nov 25 2009 1:10PM United Nations peacekeepers are going beyond the call of duty in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), not only protecting local civilians from rebel militia but also helping them boost agricultural output as well as resurfacing roads and refurbishing a school.

Having watched the local population use hoes and shovels in labour intensive work to prepare their fields while their cows did nothing but eat grass all day long, members of the Pakistani battalion in the UN Mission in DRC, known as MONUC, suggested to farmers in the small community of Walungu in strife-torn South Kivu province that a cow can also be a good tractor.

“Some of the farmers were concerned at the beginning that pulling a plough might kill their cows,” Battalion Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Akif said. “But our troops managed to assure them that a little work wouldn't hurt them. In some of the communities where our peacekeepers come from, cattle are still used for ploughing.”

The use of cattle for farm work is something quite radical in Walungu, where herds are raised for prestige, milk and meat.

Two oxen, linked by a simple wooden yoke can plough fields five times faster than people with hand tools, and the crop yield per hectare using a deep furrow plough is roughly doubled. After discussing the possibilities with the local chiefs and administrators, the peacekeepers constructed a simple wooden plough and began training some farmers and their oxen.

Colonel Akif said that if more farmers decided to adopt the technology, peacekeepers would help them build more ploughs and harness equipment, and train their animals. “It is an easy thing to do and we know from our own experience, that they will benefit a lot,” he added.

The Pakistan Battalion has also rehabilitated five kilometres of road from Walungu village to Kashanja, where members of the MONUC Chinese engineering unit are currently working on a 200-kilometre stretch to Shabunda, further west.

The absence of roads connecting towns and villages in both North and South Kivu provinces has added to the isolation of thousands of small communities, preventing communication, trade and commerce between them. Without roads, efforts to improve security for local populations have also been seriously inhibited.

Turning to the local primary school building, which was in a state of chronic disrepair, the peacekeepers did a major renovation of the roof and supporting walls which were open to the elements, installed new windows, doors and flooring, plastered the internal walls and helped build new desks for all students. They also raised money through their families and friends in Pakistan to provide books, pens and pencils.

Future plans of the Pakistani Battalion to assist the Walungu community include similar support for other schools and construction of a vocational centre.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

C40: UN Secretary-General's Remarks To Meeting With Leading Mayors Supported By Cities

UN Secretary-General's remarks to Meeting with Leading Mayors Supported by C40 Cities: “Advancing a Carbon-Neutral, Resilient Recovery for Cities and Nations” 16 April 2021 Thank you for joining me today, and for your commitment and leadership. Cities ... More>>

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>