Dzud is a Mongolian term for an extreme weather phenomenon characterised by a very harsh winter. During a dzud, livestock are unable to graze and have to rely on food stocks. In the past, a dzud occurred once or twice in a decade. Today, climatic changes and human-induced environmental degradation have intensified the frequency and intensity of the dzud, which results in millions livestock dying from starvation or cold.
Mongolian herders rely on their animals for food and trade, so losing their livestock can mean they fall into poverty. As part of a disaster preparedness project aimed to help Mongolian herders to cope, the EU’s humanitarian partner People in Need (PIN) has created an SMS service in order for them to access the weather forecast and data on pasture degradation. This tool allows the herders to take precautionary measures and better manage their livestock in case of a dzud.
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