The report below is a clip from the weather agency (unedited):
Due to the climate situation, the wintering situation in 198 soums (COUNTY OR SOUMS) of 19 aimags (COUNTY OR PROVINCE) are experiencing a difficult environment. As of today, a total of 1.7 million livestock has died of which 300,000 have died in the last month. Snow depth is as high as 35 cm in the steppe, lower sides of mountains are 50 cm and show signs of becoming icy. Due to dzud event, some herders have started migrating to nearby aimag territory. Herders are frightened to see dead animals every morning, and have thus started to kill the animals. The reason is to make cash out of it in order to buy discounted hay and fodder from state. The value of meat is lower in the market. According to the local emergency committee’s information a total of 322,000 head of livestock have died in the worst hit aimags. Air temperature is keeping constant at minus 40 C and shows no sign of going up within the next month. Below is a summary report of the current winter situation in the main aimags that have been hit by disaster.
Omnogobi aimag : Situation is out of control
All territory of the aimag is completely snow covered and at disaster situation. Snow cover depth is 15-30 cm in flat areas and 40-50 cm in ditches and trenches. This situation closed pasture land and pushed herders to keep livestock in winter fences and there are increases in numbers of dead animal. Aimag has 1.7 million head of livestock and as of today lost 40,000 livestock. Local emergency unit staff donated one-day salary to herders experiencing difficult situation. Aimag bought 200 tonnes of hay from state reserve, but this is simply not enough.
Bayanhongor aimag: Herders started to migrate to other aimag territory
Herders started migrating to other aimags territories. A total of 1500 herder families already moved to other aimag’s winter reserve areas. Snow depth is 18-20 cm in flat areas, 20-35 cm is ditches and temperatures are reaching minus 40-50 degree at night times. A total of 23,000 head of livestock died and herders have started to kill their animals. At present a total of 500 tonnes of meat is prepared. But there are no buyers, thus they sell meat much lower than market price. Herders kill their animals in order to buy fodder and hay for their remaining animals.
Bayan-Olgii: Herders don’t know what they should do
No fodder and hay has arrived to this aimag. Even when it arrives, there is no money for herders. They used available fodder and hay during these times. Territory of aimag is fully covered with snow and ice and all livestock is kept in fences. Herders are shocked to see piles of dead animals in their fences and psychologically depressed to see these. Total 120,000 livestock died. Herders have lost hope on how to overcome this winter and don’t know what they should do.
Dundgobi aimag: Supply of hay and fodder from state is not-enough.
Winter situation in aimag is very difficult. Snow depth reached 50 cm and becoming icy. All day and night with snow storm and both herders and livestock in difficult situation. Aimag bought 200 tonnes hay and 400 tonnes of fodder from state reserve but this is not enough. Herders are trying to kill livestock and buy hay for the remaining animals. Aimag has 2.1 million livestock and currently 20,000 livestock have died. Another burden facing local administration is to finding lost transportation/vehicle (roads were covered snow) as roads of other aimags were passing through Dundgobi. Need to take measures to reduce numbers of outside travellers during an emergency situation. Many herders have migrated to other aimags and the aimag administration has established a team who will visit their herders living across aimag borders.
Gobi-Altai aimag.: Number of lost animal is 92 thousand and more increase, maybe
Continuous snow storm in last five days. All livestock is kept in fences till now as pasture is covered with snow. Situation is worsening in Jargalant, Haliun and Taishar soums. Aimag administration team was sent to assess situation in these soums. Current calculation, total 92,000 livestock died and expecting increase. Snow depth is up to 30 cm and temperature always at – 40 degree.
Zavhan aimag: Temperature always at – 46 degree
Most of aimag territory is covered with hard snow cover with depth of 50-80 cm. Soil temperature reaching – 30 to 46 degree. Locally prepared 9.4 thousand tonnes of hay and 500 tonnes of fodder is already consumed. Organizing to sell reserved hay and fodder with given prices to herders. Total 36.0 thousand livestock died. Temperature in Zavhan aimag always at – 46 degrees.
State response: A total of 5,000 tonnes of hay and 4,000 tonnes of fodder were released from state emergency reserves and sold with a 50% discount to herders.