‘Calling Radio Ergo’s feedback number saved my livestock’ – Somali herder in Lower Juba

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(ERGO) – Ahmed Abdullahi Adan, 48, lives in a remote area called Birta-Dher, which lies almost halfway between Afmadow and Kismayo, in southern Somalia’s Lower Juba region. He had been struggling to get treatment and medicine for his sick livestock for the whole of September. He decided to contact Radio Ergo via the toll-free number on 19 October 2019.

Radio Ergo referred Ahmed’s call to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Livestock sector coordinator, who ensured through FAO’s local partnerships that a veterinary team was dispatched to Ahmed’s area to attend to his sick animals. Ahmed spoke afterwards to Radio Ergo’s Mohamed Hassan and confirmed that his livestock had been treated for different livestock diseases. Mohamed Hassan asked him if he was happy about the response to his call.

Mohamed: After recording your message for Radio Ergo, were you expecting to get a response which would help you to get treatment for your livestock?

Ahmed: No, I was not but then later on we were very excited. All the people in the area were very happy after receiving the treatment.

Mohamed: What made you call Radio Ergo?

Ahmed: It was the challenges we were facing at that moment. Radio Ergo made it easy for us to call that number [toll free].

Mohamed: What message did you pass?

Ahmed: My message was about the problems we were having with the livestock disease.

Mohamed: What was in your mind when you were sending that message?

Ahmed: We thank almighty God, we were expecting no help really but by sending the message, we had a belief that some people would come to our aid when they heard our message and complaints. We had no veterinary medicine for our livestock. Now the livestock have been treated, not only in our area but even the livestock of those people in nearby areas were also treated.

Mohamed: So, your message has helped the whole area?

Ahmed: Yes, it has helped all the areas! May God bless all those who facilitated this, those who brought the veterinary teams and even Radio Ergo.

Mohamed: What kind of diseases affected the animals?

Ahmed: The animals had diarrhoea, the goats were suffering from diarrhoea, and they had scabs and pustules around the mouth and fever.

After I called, some veterinary teams called me back and came to my area. They checked the animals and treated them. Our animals recovered and are now healthy.

Mohamed: How many animals were treated for you?

Ahmed: All my livestock were treated. Even the goat kids and calves were treated.

Mohamed: How many animals do you have in your herd?

Ahmed: I have 80 goats and 60 cattle

Mohamed: Were the animals treated for scabby mouth?

Ahmed: Yes, they were treated, before they were unable to graze, now they can graze. We thank God, we are in prosperous times now, it has rained and there is plenty of pasture.

Radio Ergo’s feedback platform, Freedom Fone, seeks to link Somali communities, especially the most vulnerable, marginalized and excluded, with humanitarian and other responders. The toll free short code number is promoted daily on Radio Ergo’s shortwave broadcasts, reaching the entire country.

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