Droughts have a destructive impact on the environment, animals and human life in east Africa. They deplete precious water and pasture, crippling food production – but a breed of goat being introduced by Islamic Relief is offering new hope.

In Moyale, Kenya, water scarcity has killed much of the livestock on which pastoralist communities depend. With no other way to earn a living, many are resorting to the illegal felling of trees and making charcoal. This gives them some means to provide for their families, but the effects of these practices – deforestation and pollution – are contributing to climate change.

Realising the threat drought poses to vulnerable communities, Islamic Relief helps them to prepare and respond to drought-related crises. We support them to build their resilience by promoting climate-smart agricultural practices.

We repair and construct solar-powered water sources, to increase the efficient use of surface run-off water and water underground. Vulnerable people receive cash transfers, which they can use to meet their basic needs.

A vet with the goats, which were vaccinated and dewormed to protect them from diseases.

New breed of climate-resilient goats

Islamic Relief is also introducing a breed of goats that is more resilient to the changing climate conditions. According to the Kenya National Farmers Information Service, Galla goats can produce 2 litres of milk per day, and the breed is hardier than most other animals in drought conditions.

Islamic Relief provided 260 families with 4 goats each. The animals are a source of income and nutritious milk for families.

Madina, of the Sakuye tribe, lives in Guyo Timo, Moyale, and received some Galla goats.

“The drought wiped out our herd. My husband despaired and turned to charcoal burning,” she says, explaining that when her husband died she and their 8 children had only 2 goats and were struggling to make ends meet.

“I am now quite old and depend on my children. I am so grateful to have received the 4 goats,” she adds.

Nutritious milk for families

The animals were vaccinated and dewormed to protect them from diseases. Government veterinary officers advised the families on the best ways to introduce the new breed to live alongside their current goats, an indigenous east African breed. At least 20 of the goats have since given birth, adding another 133 goats to the total number.

Madina milks one of the 4 Galla goats she received from Islamic Relief.

“I am so glad that one of the goats I received has already given birth. When I milk my goats, I feel good. This cup of milk is a blessing. The milk contains vitamins and is very good for the children. As my herd increases, I do not have to seek help from others. I provide for my family myself. I aim to have at least 50 goats and sell milk for an income,” explains Madina.

The Islamic Relief project is expected to boost local economies and free families from worry about where their next meal will come from. It aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability of pastoralist communities by supporting them to develop reliable, long-term, and independent means of living.

With your support, Islamic Relief can support even more people to change their lives – and their futures. Donate today.