Goats. And more goats.

Goats being goats. Just chilling.

Someone once wisely observed that the more goats there are in a country, the poorer that country usually is. Well, in Somaliland, there are  hell of a lot of goats.

Even in the middle of the capital city, Hargeisa, there are goats wandering around everywhere – sitting on stoops, walking down the street, grazing in empty lots. Their bleating noise is one of the many integral sounds of the city.

Goats, of course, are very valuable. They provide milk, meat, and hides; they reproduce themselves easily; they eat crop wastes and other garbage which is otherwise useless; and they act as a store of wealth that can be sold to generate income when needed (this last point is quite crucial in a largely cash-based economy where few people have access to formal banking systems; goats can even act as collateral for loans).

So hip-hip-hurrah for goats. Goats are good people. They aren’t picky about what they eat – they will chew anything, including leftover food, cardboard, and paper (that doesn’t mean, however, they will necessarily digest it – some of my co-workers once witnessed a goat excreting a plastic bag). You often see goats browsing for food in the many empty lots full of rubbish. It’s a shame they can’t digest the plastic bags – the city would be a lot cleaner.

Elevenses? Goats trawling the rubbish for a snack.

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