Kuiseb River washes away top fodder

24 Feb 2015 07:00am
SWAKOPMUND, 24 FEB (NAMPA) – Livestock grazing along the Kuiseb River near Walvis Bay might face drought this year as the riverflow washed away the Acacia pods, a primary fodder.
Joseph Tjitekulu, the Special Advisor to Topnaar Traditional Authority chief Seth Kooitjie revealed this in an interview with Nampa here on Tuesday.
Approached to give an update and the side-effects of the Kuiseb River’s flow, the advisor said when the river started flowing in January this year, it washed away all the seedpods which have fallen from the trees in the river.
“The Topnaar communal farmers are really concerned, as the Acacia pods are the primary food for animals. Now that all of it is washed away, the animals might get thin and die,” Tjitekulu stated.
The Kuiseb is an ephemeral river, which only flows after sufficient rainfall in the upper catchment area of the Khomas Hochland.
Livestock sales would thus be affected because nobody would be interested in buying thin animals.
He furthermore explained that the flow caught them off-guard as it came earlier than expected.
“Usually, the Kuiseb River flows around August when all farmers had collected and stored the pods at their dwellings already,” Tjitekulu noted.
He added that farmers did not start collecting the fodder as early as possible because they thought the river would not come down in January.
“We advised our community members that in future, the collection must start before the rainy season so that we prevent the pods from being washed away,” the official advised.
The Topnaar community farms with small numbers of goats, cattle and donkeys.