Cattle dying due to drought at Okaumbaha

23 Jul 2015 14:10pm
OKAUMBAHA, 23 JUL (NAMPA) - Communal livestock farmers at Okaumbaha village situated between Omatjete and Ozondati are losing cattle due to the drought.
Insufficient rainfall experienced in the Daures Constituency of the Erongo Region this year also affected grazing pastures in areas such as Okombahe, Omungambu, Uis, Otjohorongo and Okamapuku amongst others.
One of the farmers hard hit by drought, 76-year-old Festus Kaaronda, lost one of his ailing cows last week.
“I found her dead under a tree where she has been lying for almost two weeks. Before she died, we tried to feed and give her water but she was too weak to stand up and walk,” Kaaronda told Nampa at his cattle post.
The pensioner, who farms with 35 cattle, said he came from Omungambu which is about three kilometres away from Okaumbaha, in search of grazing for his animals.
Kaaronda said drought forced him to drive six of his cows and calves to a post in Okaumbaha where grazing is slightly better, as he tried saving them.
“Our animals are dying. We want Government to help us with fodder where possible. It is not only me who just started losing, other farmers around here lost cattle already,” he said.
He noted that all the animals are thin and get weaker by the day as they walk 20 kilometres to Okomize for water.
“Water is another problem because where there is water, the grass is finished. So the animals have to walk every single day for water. The farmers have no tolerance for those who come and share the pastures as they sometimes refuse to give water to our animals,” said the farmer.
Daures Constituency Councillor Ehrnst Katjiku confirmed the drought situation and urged farmers to work together by sharing grazing and water.
“We are in serious trouble this year. Government must make efforts to assist us with fodder, especially to those who cannot afford to buy it,” said Katjiku.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, in April this year announced that Cabinet authorised the implementation of an interim drought relief programme worth more than N.dollars 300 million.
Of the N.dollars 300 million, N.dollars 90 million will go towards animal fodder, licks and health packages.
This comes after President Hage Geingob assured Namibians in his first State of the Nation address in April that more than N.dollars 300 million had been set aside for drought mitigation.
The President said this will cover measures such as procurement of food for affected communities and households, provision of water for human and animal consumption in the form of drilling new boreholes and rehabilitation of old ones, and assistance to crop producers and livestock farmers.