Communal farmer left destitute after fire engulfs his farm

12 Sep 2013 05:20
MBUNZA, 12 SEP (NAMPA) - A communal farmer in the Mbunza Traditional Authority area of the Kavango West Region has been left with no grazing for his livestock after about 10 000 hectares of his land was engulfed by fire this week.
Farmer Alex Endunde, who is a pensioner, said he has been unable to establish whether the fire was caused by human activities, or if it was a natural occurrence.
The fire destroyed the already-scarce grazing land, and broke out on his Rider Farm, situated some 145km south of Rundu on Monday this week.
By Wednesday morning, it was still blazing.
Over 250 livestock, consisting mostly of cattle and goats, are now threatened with food insecurity as they have nowhere else to graze.
The fire also destroyed fences and poles.
Endunde told Nampa on Thursday that he would appeal to Government to also consider introducing a subsidy scheme for farmers affected by veldfires since it is a natural disaster.
He then pleaded with fellow farmers in the Mbunza Traditional Authority area who may have grazing land available to assist him by letting him relocate his livestock to graze there at an agreed fee.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Forestry earlier this year expressed concern that veldfires started very early this year in April, and this situation was exacerbated by the drought conditions currently being experienced throughout the country.