Rain lifts Ovitoto Farmers' spirits

27 Jan 2016 11:50am
By Francois Lottering
OVITOTO, 27 JAN (NAMPA) - Farmers in Ovitoto are happy now that their earth dams are filled to the brim with water following the recent rain in the area.
Some farms in this communal area have received up to 200 millimetres of rain.
The area is situated about 100 kilometres north-east of Windhoek in the Omatako Constituency of the Otjozondjupa Region.
Driving towards Ovitoto on the D1527 district road, the signs of good rains were evident with sun reflecting in hundreds of pools of water along the road.
The Swakop River, which one has to cross to reach the area, was flowing about 40 metres wide and about half a metre deep in some places.
“Our rainy season here normally starts January but some farmers already received up to 200mm since the end of December. This is a good sign, and the rainy season normally goes into March,” Omatako Constituency Councillor Israel Hukura told Nampa last week.
The young councillor with an agriculture background is positive for more rain.
Most of the farmers here make a living from cattle, while a few keep animals like goats and chickens.
“The grass will take time to recover, but the forage already looks promising as the animals’ condition picks up,” he said.
Hukura’s farm outside Ovitoto received 50mm of rain throughout Wednesday evening. He said such long spells of rain is more valuable to the area than short rain showers when the water has no time to sink into the ground.
“If it (weather) stays like this until the end of March, we will receive normal to above normal rainfall,” the councillor told this agency.
Although the rain started to fall and the pastures are improving, the constituency office is still providing drought assistance to some of the residents as they lived through two years with hardly any rain.
“This assistance from the Office of the Prime Minister is helpful and one does not want it to stop now as the field needs to recover and we need to get back on our feet again,” Hukura said.
The animals’ condition is improving and the farmers are excited, said the councillor when asked about the general spirit among the residents of Ovitoto.
Another resident of Ovitoto, who only introduced himself as “hoofman” (headman), echoed the same sentiment, saying the rain made many farmers feel positive about their future.
The area boasts the constituency office, a few small shops, political party offices, a well-equipped clinic with an ambulance, and a combined school with an estimated 700 learners from the area.