Eiseb farmers lose animals to water shortages

02 Sep 2013 11:50
GOBABIS, 02 AUG (NAMPA) - The community of Eiseb Block in the Omaheke Region’s Otjombinde Constituency have lost hordes of livestock due to severe water shortages currently being experienced in the area.
Livestock farmers in the remote areas of Eiseb, especially at cattle posts created to cater for the prevailing drought conditions, have been affected the most, with farmers losing an average of five cattle per farmer per day.
The water shortages have come as a result of a weak solar water pump, which has not been able to pump enough water for the over 1 200 cattle in the area.
Local farmer Lourens Kavari told Nampa on Monday a total of 29 cattle had died due to a lack of water in the area since last Tuesday, when the water supply at these remote cattle posts became too little for the livestock.
Kavari said a number of cattle have also been killed by a poisonous plant indigenous to the area as the animals search for fluids found in these plants due to the water shortages.
“We are in a serious situation here and it appears as if there is no way out. We have appealed to Government to do something about the situation, but their response is slow and not satisfactory given the extent of the losses we are incurring on a daily basis,” he said.
Villagers have been unable to contain the number of cattle dying from thirst per day, and the large numbers have resulted in many carcasses simply being left out in the field to rot.
Karii-Apia Tjiroze, another farmer in the area, told Nampa on Monday that many farmers fear the worst given the acute water shortage, as the cattle are their only means of livelihood.
“People here depend on cattle to sell for an income. What will they now sell to support their families? We really need help here in Eiseb,” he said.
While the repair of the solar water pump appears to have brought temporary relief to the area, villagers long for a more permanent solution to the matter such as the drilling of more boreholes.