District Washuk is a poverty-stricken district of Balochistan adversely affected by various natural and human-induced disasters such as drought, flashfloods, locust and more recently COVID- 19. Illiteracy, lack of resources, livelihood opportunities and cultural barriers are the leading underlying cause of extreme poverty in the area. Keeping this in view, Muslim Hands planned interventions in the target area with the funding support of UNOCHA.
Poultry packages were provided to 170 female-headed households. Backyard Poultry, mainly layer farming, producing meat or eggs, can be a highly beneficial activity in terms of food security. Proper management ensures efficient production and good quality products (meat or eggs). This is accomplished by controlling diseases, maintaining feed efficiency, proper handling of wastes, and proper sanitization of the poultry house. Due to short turnover rates of poultry flocks and strong market demand, the poultry business could potentially be a profitable small enterprise. With increase in population, the poultry industry continues to grow to meet the demand for poultry products in the market. In drought hit areas health of children is affected due to lack of nutrients but poultry provides eggs which are rich in proteins and vitamins, especially fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) for children. Poultry farms are fast-paced operations that can fulfill the requirement for meat and eggs and can be expanded easily to meet its ever-growing demand.
Keeping in view the above facts, Muslim Hands provided a comprehensive package for backyard Poultry. Through this package 9 hens, one cock, one good quality cage and feed was provided to each beneficiary household.
40-year-old Pari, widow of Muhammad Jumma lives with her 2 sons and 3 daughters in Killi Hassan, Union Council Garang. Pari belongs to a poor family and struggled to survive after the death of her husband at a young age. She worked as an artisan of Balochi handicrafts, but the income was insufficient for the survival of her family. The pandemic of COVID- 19 significantly reduced the purchasing power of people and consequently her sale.
Muslim Hands assessed her vulnerability and registered her as beneficiary. Later on, she was invited to attend a training on Poultry Management under UNOCHA funded project “Preserve the ability of people vulnerable to pandemics and disasters (Natural/Manmade) to meet their food consumption and other basic needs through productive activities and access to other humanitarian assistance in district Washuk Balochistan”. The training equipped her with the basic knowledge and skills required to operate it.
All the birds she received in the poultry package were vaccinated and healthy, which provided nutrition to family and became an additional source of income for her. Currently, all her hens are producing 7-8 eggs daily, some of which are consumed by the family and the rest are sold out, enabling her to earn approximately 2000/2200 per month. She wishes to upscale it in near future by adding additional birds.
Pari thanked Muslims Hands International and the donors. “I have no words to express my feelings, how this support was beneficial for me at the time of worst crises. We were unable to manage even two meals a day and were at the mercy of others for my survival.