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VSF-employee John Laffa wrote doctoral thesis on indigenous Maasai milk hygiene and preservation techniques in the Maasai steppe

John Laffa is working for VSF in Tanzania | © Veterinarians without Borders

The study area of John's doctoral thesis comprised the entire Maasai homeland in Tanzania | © Veterinarians without Borders

John Laffa lives in Tanzania and has been a competent employee of Veterinarians without Borders for years. The graduate expert in agriculture, livestock and animal breeding is enroled for a doctorate course in veterinary medicine at the Vetmeduni Vienna (VMU). At the Institute of Milk Hygiene at the VMU he now wrote his doctoral thesis on indigenous Maasai milk hygiene and preservation techniques.

To extend the life of their cattle's milk the Maasai rely on a special method. They keep the milk in smoke-treated calabashes (dried and hollowed gourds). Their hygiene know-how is transmitted across generations in the oral tradition. John's goal was to investigate this method and to preserve this knowledge for future generations. A total of 24 Maasai villages were visited to establish the key indigenous plants preferred and their traditional manner of use. These plants were then collected and scientifically classified. The study area comprised the entire Maasai homeland in Tanzania.

John belongs to the Sandawe who, as hunter-gatherers, have a strong understanding of nature. He has been supporting the Maasai in Tanzania for many years, is married to a Maasai woman and has two children. We are very happy to have John in our team!



More articles about this:

Insider's tip against sour milk in the East African steppe

Pharmacy in the middle of the Maasai steppe


Short video about smoke-treating of calabashes





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