Pakistan News

Most villages sans vet and services in Sahiwal

Most villages sans vet and  services in Sahiwal

SAHIWAL: According to a survey, 98pc of villagers claim they neither received any vaccination nor heard about any veterinary awareness campaigns for their livestock.

Around 91pc farmers and livestock owners confirmed non-availability of veterinarians and staff at veterinary dispensaries in Bahadur Shah and Muhammadpur union councils (UCs).

None of the villagers had availed the facility of artificial insemination for their cattle from the two dispensaries as allegedly no semen was available. This was revealed in a Community Audit Survey conducted by villagers of Bahadur Shah and Muhammadpur UCs during the last month.

The purpose of the survey was to record performance of two public dispensaries being run with taxpayers’ money. The survey was conducted by 10 villagers in 15 days. A total of 350 interviews were conducted from permanent residents and livestock owners of the two UCs.

Alweera Rashid, the Punjab Lok Sujag programme coordinator, said the survey was a modern technique that a community used to gauge performance of public institutions being run with taxpayers’ money.

She said: “The purpose of the survey is to expose, highlight and later improve governance structures at the lowest administrative tier called the union council.”

She revealed that during financial years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, the district livestock department did not receive even the allocated budget of Rs5 million annually from the district government. She further said they selected 10 villagers and later trained them on the Community Social Audit survey techniques.

“Later, they conducted the survey with 350 selected livestock owners from the two UCs,” Amir Shakeel, the survey coordinator, said.

Dawn learnt from sources that each veterinary dispensary had a five-member staff, including a veterinary doctor, cattle attendant, artificial inseminator, watchman and peon.

District livestock department sources said total livestock population in Bahadur Shah and Muhammadpur union councils was 22,111 and 32,315, respectively, while the total human population in the two UCs was around 21,620 and 10,227, respectively.

Villagers surveyed denied availability of veterinary services for their livestock.

One of the interviewees, Shabbir Hussain, told Dawn the survey clearly showed lack of veterinary services at the UC-level.

A source from the local livestock department on condition of anonymity told Dawn the department did not receive any funds allocated in the budgets during the last four years.

District Livestock Officer Dr Ghulam Mustafa said the department was allocated Rs6 million during financial year 2015-2016. He further said the department had bought veterinary medicine after four years.

Asiya, one of the 10 villagers who conducted the survey, said farmers either used traditional methods or called private veterinary doctors or dispensers to treat their livestock. “No one dared to visit a public veterinary dispensary,” she further added.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2015

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