Scottish Troops Tackle Animal Care in Helmand
British soldiers, currently responsible for maintaining security in part of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, have taken steps to improve local farmers’ livelihoods by launching an initiative to help them look after their animals.
Troops from Delta Company of the Canterbury-based Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) organised the ‘Veterinary Teaching Initiative’. It took place at the Headquarters of the 2nd Kandak, Afghan National Police (ANP), which is situated beside Delta Company’s home of Patrol Base Attal, east of Helmand’s provincial capital Lashkar Gah.
Captain Joanna Lowe of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps spent time educating local nationals on better ways to carry out animal husbandry. The event, the first of its nature carried out by Delta Company during their seven month tour in Helmand, was a real success. Approximately 60 people attended on the first day and more than 100 on the second.
Captain Lowe and local ANP commander Colonel Abdul Sattar Noorzai, who also played a key role in setting up the event, spoke on Radio Nahr-e Saraj, which transmits from Patrol Base Attal, on both evenings of the project. They also fielded veterinary questions from local farmers who telephoned into the station.
Captain Joanna Lowe said:
“The aim of these two days was to educate the local people on modern methods of animal husbandry practices and medical care. This knowledge will help to make them more self reliant and also help to improve their livelihoods.”
Colonel Abdul Sattar Noorzai, Commander of the 2nd Kandak ANP, said:
“This kind of education is very important for improving life for the people. I have emphasized how beneficial this is on the local radio station so future events will see even more people attend.”
Captain Niall Archibald, of 5 SCOTS, said:
“The Veterinary Teaching Initiative is one of many different projects being run as part of Afghan Government and ISAF efforts to increase the self sufficiency of Afghanistan’s population. The future of the country lies in the hands of its people and initiatives such as this provide the tools to help build it up.”
Delta Company, 5 SCOTS are currently on a seven-month tour of Afghanistan. They are partnered with the Afghan National Police, protecting the people of Lashkar Gah district and ensuring that they have a responsible and accountable police force. They also assist the ANP in gathering information on insurgents in the area and conduct operations to ensure that the insurgents are unable to impact on the daily life of the people.