Saturday, 10 March 2012

Ducks pay for schooling


The village where I live used to be wetter than today. It still has village ponds, like the one in this photo, but fewer than before. Areas that used to be water-logged or flood are drier due to improved drainage.


Availability of communal ponds encouraged cottagers of past times to rear ducks to supplement their incomes as poorly-paid agricultural labourers. The ducks would spend their days on a pond and walk home to their owners to be shut up at night. The ducks are still thriving but most of the cottages of the poor are now 'gentrified'. You need more than back-yard duck-rearing to pay for them.


People in water-logged areas of Bangladesh find duck-rearing useful in trying to make a living wage. In Bangladesh today are areas where rivers and groundwater have become salty as a result of climate change. Sea levels are rising, so fresh water near the coast is being salinated. This is making farming by traditional methods harder. One alternative being introduced by CCDB is duck-rearing. CCDB (Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh) is Christian Aid's longest standing partner in that region. Local ducks are not resilient to the salty water so tend to sicken and die. So CCDB is providing khaki Cambel (also spelt 'Campbell') ducks which are more resilient. This has transformed family life for Roban Biswass who lives in Mitradanga village. He  says

‘Now I can send my children to school. I can buy their school books and their exercise books, because I can sell eggs. For example, today my son went to a school exam. So I sold five eggs and gave him the money so that he could get the bus to school. I felt really proud.'
You can read more about the Biswass family in 'Ducks in Bangladesh'


You can watch this video by the UK government's Department for International Development about how one woman in Bangladesh is hoping to increase her income through duck-rearing.





Christian Aid's 'Count Your Blessings' calendar for Lent suggests today that you
"reflect on your ideal world and how we can make real changes together for the eradication of poverty and climate change."
 It also suggests you give 5p for every item you have recycled today. It's a bit early in the day for for me to know, but yesterday it was 10 items, so that's 50p.


Photo of mallard drake: my own

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