UFU Watch: UFU PEOPLE: Ian Stevenson Reports from Mongolia

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), October 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

UFU Watch: UFU PEOPLE: Ian Stevenson Reports from Mongolia


Byline: Ian Stevenson

FOLLOWING his recent trip to Mongolia to help out on a charity house building project co-ordinated by Habitat for Humanity International, UFU Livestock Secretary Ian Stevenson reports on his experience.

"Mongolia is a country which has had its fair share of turmoil and hardship in recent years. Land-locked between Russia and China it has only just returned to independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

"Mongolia is a vast largely unspoilt country (the size of Western Europe) with a relatively small population (approximately 2.3 million people).

"It is probably one of the harshest environments in the world to live in with extremely low rainfall, huge temperature fluctuations (30 degrees in summer and minus 50 degrees in winter), very poor infrastructure, extremely high unemployment and very little economic activity.

"Much of the population continues a nomadic way of life herding goats, sheep, cattle, yaks and horses from area to area wherever fodder can be found.

"Cashmere is one of the few agricultural products to be exported from the country.

"Approximately half of the country's population live in the capital city Ulaanbaataar.

"Many live in very rundown suburbs of the city in shantytown like conditions with no running water or sanitation and limited availability of electricity. …

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