An AFP report has placed the total economic losses stemming from the dzud in
Hundreds of thousands of Mongolians who lead nomadic lives and depend entirely on livestock for a living, are grappling with the country”s second straight dzud — a severe winter after a dry summer. The rare double-barreled weather phenomenon — one of the worst on record in
More than 3.5 million animals — cows, sheep, goats, yaks, horses and camels — have died so far, with 60 percent of the country still buried under deep snow. The last major dzud occurred over three straight winters from 2000 to 2002, with about 2.5 million animals dying each year. This year”s dzud has been even more deadly, and officials predict that some five million animals could die before summer.
Herders with 200 animals or less have been hardest hit. Inexperienced and ill-prepared for the harsh winter conditions, many have lost 50 to 60 percent of their livestock. “The big herders have managed, but small-scale herders are not equipped to deal with a dzud as powerful as this one,” said Akbar Usmani, the UNDP country representative. “They need to be weaned away from herding into some other line of business.”