Weather drives Mongolian herders to cities

ULAN BATUR, Mongolia, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Mongolia's extreme cold and snow have killed more than 1 million livestock and forced herders to leave homes for shanties near Ulan Batur, an aid group said.

The weather threatens the livelihoods of thousands of people, Xinhua reported Saturday.

"Every morning five to 10 animals are dying," said Javzmaa Batbold, a herder in Adaatsag County, Dundgobi province. "Out of 500 livestock, about 120 have died due to the extreme cold weather and shortage of food.

"I don't know what future is waiting for our family if all our livestock die," said Batbold, a father of two children. "We are doing our best to save our animals, which are the only source of livelihood. Continuous snow blizzards are killing our livestock."

More than 14,000 Red Cross volunteers are delivering food to herders who have lost their livestock.

The southern province of Dundgobi is going through a "dzud" -- a summer drought followed by abnormally low temperatures and heavy snow.

The summer drought prevented farmers from stockpiling food for sheep and other animals.

Source:UPI News Agency
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