TOYAMA – A nongovernmental organization in the city of Toyama has donated goats to a Nepalese village as part of the recovery effort from last April’s devastating earthquake.
A member of the NGO said goats were valuable because they were easy to raise and are in demand as food in Nepal.
The group, the Toyama branch of the Nepal Karnali Association, was established in 1992 when students at the Nihon Gakuen private high school in Tokyo collected aluminum cans to finance the construction of a school in Nepal.
The Toyama branch was established in 2014 when Fukashi Kiyosawa, 67, returned to his hometown after retiring from his teaching job at the school.
It decided to donate goats on the suggestion of a local who works as an interpreter when association members visit Nepal.
Villagers raise goats and earn cash by selling them.
The branch collected contributions and purchased 33 female and two male goats in Nepal in September. It then donated a female goat to each of the 33 households in the village of Chamdanda, where most people lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the earthquake.
The two male stud goats are kept in the village located close to the epicenter of the quake.
A female goat gives birth to four kids per year. If bred successfully, the goats are estimated to bring the households the cash equivalent of a local government official’s salary in the space of five years.
The branch will keep one of the four goats born from each female for distribution to residents in nearby villages.
“The goal is to help local people regain their independence,” Kiyosawa said. “We would like to contribute to the improvement of their life as much as we can.”
Some 8 million people, or 30 percent of Nepal’s population, were affected by the quake, which killed 8,800 people. With 887,000 homes totally or partially damaged, a large number still live in tough conditions and are forced to continue to reside in tents.