23 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-425

Veterinarian Civil Assistance Patrol in Qalat City

QALAT CITY, Afhganistan--The Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in conjunction with the Provincial Government of Zabul has created a plan to improve conditions for the Kuchi tribesmen in the vicinity of Qalat City. The PRT has recently conducted three VETCAPs for the Kuchi tribes. (ISAF photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan - The nomadic Pashtun Kuchi tribe of Southern Afghanistan has been labeled as one of the largest and most vulnerable populations in the country. The tribe’s livelihood depends on the maintenance and grazing of large herds of sheep and goats.

The Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team, in conjunction with the Provincial Government of Zabul, has created a plan to improve conditions for the Kuchi tribesmen in the vicinity of Qalat City. The team is working in close coordination with Kuchi Tribal Leaders and Qalat City authorities to bring this three-phased plan to life.

The plan began with three Veterinarians Civil Assistance Patrol held in Qalat City, August 18-20.  In order to conduct the actvity three specialists were brought in from Bagram Airfield.  This specialized crew brought medicine to treat the animals of the local Kuchi tribesmen.  The treatments, mainly concentrated on de-worming, should be conducted twice a year and will improve the overall health of the herds of sheep and goats.  If the animals go untreated, the effects of worms can result in the death of the animals or infection of humans. Over the three days the team was able to treat many sheep, goats and cattle.

The Provincial Government of Zabul was extremely excited about the benefits that this project will bring to the Kuchi people. Governor Arman said, “It is extremely important to help the Kuchi people with their animals as herding represents their main livelihood. We have to support them to ensure that their livelihoods are maintained during these hard times.”  

These three small VETCAPs have allowed the PRT to make more contacts with, and gain the trust of, the Kuchi Tribal leadership. The PRT is committed to supporting the Provincial Government to improve conditions for the Kuchis. These VETCAPs have shown the Kuchis concrete examples of the government's commitment to provide for them in the future.

The next phase of this project will be to conduct VETCAPs for the large Kuchi herds out in the districts.  Before the winter months, the veterinarians will work through the Kuchi Tribal Elders to treat as many animals as possible.

The last phase of this project is the construction of a Kuchi animal market in Qalat City.  The animal market will consist of upgraded facilities for the Kuchi’s and their animals including a veterinarian center, pens for 1,000 animals, and access to potable water.  The construction of this centralized facility will see the Kuchis becoming increasingly integrated into the trading economy of Zabul province.

This project is one of many currently being conducted by the U.S.-led Zabul PRT in Qalat City.  The impact of these projects will extend far beyond the Kuchi community as it will create a centralized trading hub for the Kuchi tribesmen.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/