As livestock constitutes a very important component of the agricultural economy, majority of the tribesmen in
The cattle market is located in a congested part of Bannu where animals are taken through narrow and congested lanes that cause long traffic jam especially on Friday - the day specified for the weekly bazaar. Although the area where the buffalos, oxen, cows, donkeys and other large domesticated animals are dealt is quite open yet the part of market which is situated on the backside of the open area in narrow lane and deals in sheep and goats is very congested. On Friday one can find herds of goats and sheep over the lane where apart from animals, fodder and veterinary medicines are also sold. There are some shops dealing in furs and animal skins.
According to local animal dealers, since the tribesmen of North Waziristan have thronged Bannu city, a large number of goats and sheep are lined up for sale in the local market. “I never saw such a great number of animals in this particular market. Due to increase in the number of animals in the market the prices have come down,” said
At the initial stage of migration, many tribesmen sold their animals even before reaching Bannu city.
The tribesmen complain that without keeping their troubles in mind, local dealers in Bannu were exploiting them by offering unreasonable prices.
“It was very difficult to bring animals out of Waziristan. After almost 48 hours journey, I reached Bannu along with my animals; I was hoping to sell and meet the expenses of our stay in the town. But the prices of animal are very low,” said Adbar Dawar of Mosaki North Waziristan.
Iqdad Dawar, a tribesman from Miranshah, while pointing towards his goat said, “Quite recently I got this goat from a farmer in Serai Naurang after paying
A happy old woman walking with a sheep along the road was accompanying by her grandson Shah Qayaz. “Since last month I had been looking for a sheep but the prices were very high. Today, I paid
On the other hand, the prices of animal fodder have witnessed sharp surge in the recent weeks due to the mass migration of tribesmen to the city. Grass is ideal food for the goats and sheep but its price is going up and up which the poor tribesmen could not afford to feed their animals with. The tribesmen are confused to make any decision - if they sell the animals then the prices are low, if they don’t sell then they could not afford to buy fodder for their goats and sheep.
“Due to high demand, the price of a giddy (bundle of grass) has jumped to
Many tribesmen who could not bring their animals with them revealed that they untied and left the beasts astray to graze in the fields. “It was very hard time and my first priority was to take my family out of the troubled area, I left animals astray and started moving towards Saidgai checkpoint,” said
Since the start of military operation, around 456,508 tribesmen have left North Waziristan while some of the families are still fleeing the area. Majority of people had reached Bannu on foot, as they could not afford the high prices of transportation. A considerable number of tribes while leaving North Waziristan on foot were unable to bring their poultry with them to safer places. “I left my hens, cocks and chicks inside my home and left a door opened to allow the birds to go outside,” said Ahmad shah Dawar of Aisori village in North Waziristan.
After conversing with different tribesmen of North Waziristan in Bannu, this scribe found that long journey in scorching heat also caused health issues in animals that forced the local administration to impose emergency in different veterinary hospitals of the district. Apart from the animal husbandries, hundreds of animals were treated and provided with fodder in a camp set up in FR Bakka Khel.
Dr Qismat Ullah Khan, in-charge Civil Veterinary Hospital Bannu, said, “A large number of animals died before reaching Bannu due to dehydrations and other complication. However, in Bannu the animals of IDPs were being treated free of cost.” He further said, “We have treated around 160 animals of tribesmen at this facility.”
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