The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Rural Women Get Livestock to Improve Nutrition

Women for Women International (WWI) donated 50 dairy goats to rural women in Eastern Province's Kabarondo Sector, Kayonza District on Friday.

For the benefit of their children, many women beneficiaries said that they will have to break the cultural taboo prohibiting them from drinking goat milk.

Dimitrie Nyirabayoboke, one of the beneficiaries, said the goats were expected to improve nutrition standards in communities. She also noted that the goats would give them the much needed manure for their crops.

"We are set to end the issue of malnutrition in our villages...days are gone when we depended on cows' milk alone. After the sensitisation, no one will shy away from giving children goat milk," she said.

Innocent Karuranga, a long time dairy goat farmer, noted that the challenge was sensitizing people to drink goat milk.

He said that goats offer enough milk, adding that a properly fed goat is milked between four and five liters per day.

He applauded WWI for moving a step forward in the campaign to change Rwanda women's attitude towards goat milk.

"Goat milk is more nutritious than cows' milk...this was proved scientifically, which is why goat milk is fed to people living with HIV/AIDS. While it improves immunity, many in our society don't drink it...a change of attitude would be good," he said.

WWI country representative, Antonina Kayitesi, urged the beneficiaries to look after their livestock well. She assured the beneficiaries that WWI will continue to assist them in looking after their goats for at least six months.

"We assist women in many socio-economic ways, but would like to see them live healthy lives. Maintenance of exotic breeds can be challenging, but we shall support them for a reasonable time," she said.

Each dairy goat was imported from South Africa and reached Rwanda at a price of Rwf400,000.

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