Mongolian herders facing disaster

Winter temps plunge

27 December 2016 | Disasters

Mongolia's traditional nomads are facing a natural disaster known as “dzud”, where frigid temperatures and heavy snow cause widespread livestock deaths, threatening herders' livelihoods.

Mongolians are already struggling with an economic crisis which has seen the currency, the tugrik, depreciate rapidly, making household goods more expensive.

Weather forecasts for next week are predicting temperatures as low as between minus 40 and minus 50 degrees Celsius in northern and eastern Mongolia.

Government officials have yet to declare a “dzud”, but the current climate is ideal for the natural disaster, said Lamjav Oyunjargal, the director for forecasting at the Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment.

“Officially, conditions are very difficult in Mongolia. Mostly we talk about livestock because it's the main income of herder people in Mongolia, but it's also dangerous for humans,” Oyunjargal said.

Dulaamsuren, who works at the National Emergency Management Agency in Bulgan province in remote northern Mongolia, said more than 3 000 local herders did not have enough supplies to last through the winter.

“We have enough hay until February or March, but we really should stock up more,” he said, adding that the region was now under 40 centimetres of snow, four times the usual level.

The dzud of 2009 - 2010, one of the most severe in history, saw a total of 9.7 million livestock deaths. As many as 1.1 million head of livestock died last winter.

Winter began early when Mongolia was hit by a “cold surge” in November, plummeting temperatures to around minus 47 degrees Celsius, she said. By December 11, about 70% of the country was under snow.

“Already affected areas will get even more snow and colder temperatures,” Oyunjargal said, adding the east and north of the country, an area the size of Egypt, were most vulnerable.

Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, and the extreme cold and snow storms of a “dzud” are a major issue for herders travelling between far-flung towns.


Similar News


Rain causes havoc

4 weeks ago - 16 February 2018 | Disasters

Houses and household items of roughly 60 families were destroyed and blown away by heavy rains and winds over the weekend in the Burgershoek settlement...

Namibgrens robbers set fire to farmhouse

2 months ago - 02 January 2018 | Disasters

The home of the owner of the well-known Namibgrens Guest Farm near the Gamsberg Pass west of Windhoek went up in flames at around 02:30...

Water security still high on agenda

4 months ago - 30 October 2017 | Disasters

Water supply to Windhoek and the rest of central Namibia could be theoretically secured until 2020 subject to efficient water demand measures, a three-year model...

Harvey's path of destruction

6 months ago - 30 August 2017 | Disasters

More than three days after Harvey ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths - including a woman...

Government drafts disaster plan

6 months ago - 25 August 2017 | Disasters

Following several years of natural disasters of devastating floods and droughts that have struck the north-central areas of Namibia, an integrated drought and flood management...

Regional force to distribute food in Kunene

6 months ago - 25 August 2017 | Disasters

Roughly 1 000 military personnel are expected to participate in the Blue Kunene exercise that will distribute humanitarian aid in the Kunene Region from 20...

Zuma stays put

7 months ago - 09 August 2017 | Disasters

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has survived a motion of no confidence in his presidency, held via secret ballot in parliament.Following a two-hour debate and...

Water secure until 2020

7 months ago - 01 August 2017 | Disasters

With the available water resources, as well as the stipulated Windhoek water savings, NamWater is confident that the water security of the central region, particularly...

104 drought boreholes in limbo

7 months ago - 27 July 2017 | Disasters

The unused boreholes reported on by Namibian Sun last week were not drilled under the South African government's N$100 million donation to Namibia. That funding...

Windhoek digs deep for water

7 months ago - 24 July 2017 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek is hard at work to diversify water supply options in order to reduce its reliance on bulk supplier NamWater as part...

Latest News

Zuma to be charged...

16 hours ago | Politics

Former South African president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted on 18 charges of corruption, the National Prosecuting Authority announced this afternoon. The charges include more...

Rogue driver doctor in holding,...

21 hours ago | Justice

Dr Yevai Chiradza, the suspended Otjiwarongo doctor who had a pending warrant of arrest issued against him last week Wednesday, in connection with a charge...

Entire Rehoboth council suspended

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Government

In a bold move, newly appointed urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga has dropped a bombshell by suspending the entire Rehoboth town council yesterday...

Defence splurges N$69m on farms

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Government

Revelations have come to the fore detailing how the Ministry of Defence splashed almost N$70 million on acquiring two farms last year.The defence ministry has...

Tug-of-war over spy agency job

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Government

The former director-general of the Namibia Central Intelligence Services (NCIS), Lucas Hangula, has been assigned specific tasks and will therefore stay put at the spy...

Annual inflation edges back

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Economics

Overall annual inflation in February was 3.5%, down from 3.6% the previous month. In February 2017, the overall rate was 7.8%. The main inflation categories...

Thousands leave civil service

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Government

Jo-Maré Duddy – More than 9 000 civil servants left the public service sector last year, most of them for unspecified reasons.That left 102 142...

9 Must-Do Tips to Find...

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Business

1. Update everythingYou might be in a time crunch, but it’s important to resist the urge to click ‘Apply’ for every open position you see...

A year of transformation

1 day - 16 March 2018 | Banking

First National Bank (FNB) Namibia appoints Rodney Forbes as the Executive Officer, Points of Presence. Rodney holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours degree. Octavia...

Load More