Mutjavikua slams Government research on drought

04 Jun 2016 15:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - Drought in the Erongo Region is so severe and Government cannot still conduct research on the matter, Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua said on Friday.
“It is too late for that (research). The animals are dying while we are researching. Our communal farmers are really trying to save their animals but the situation is beyond control.”
He was speaking at his state of the region address in Swakopmund, where he gave an update on development projects and challenges for the 2016/17 financial year.
Government officials are currently in Erongo, conducting an assessment of the drought situation, but Mutjavikua is not impressed.
He said the drought needs urgent action.
Communal farmers from areas such as Omatjete, Okombahe, Okaumbaha, Otjohorongo, Ozondati and Otjimbingwe need fodder and water to save the dying animals.
There are about 6 000 communal farmers affected by the drought in the Daures Constituency alone.
Fabianus Hivirikee Uaseuapuani, the chairperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority in Omatjete, told Nampa in April that he lost 15 heads of cattle and knows of some farmers in the Ozondati area north of Omatjete who lost about 20 cattle due to the drought.
“Currently, the farmers are grazing their animals along public roads as there is no water. We spoke to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to provide us with water tankers so that we can help the farmers.'
Nampa also learned that the regional council is diverting money from its development projects towards drought support such as fodder as an emergency action.
Mutjavikua said some farmers who are able to move their animals in search of grazing, have been doing so to Otjinene in Omaheke and Okakarara in Otjozondjupa regions.
“I saw some this week leaving Uis facing Khorixas. I don't even know where they plan to go because there is no grazing that side.”
On resettlement farms, Mutjavikua said a final decision was made to give resettlement farm Okongava to communal farmers in Otjimbingwe.
The head of the region said Okongava Ost Farm 72 will be divided into eight sections to be given to communal farmers who meet resettlement requirements.
He added that Unit B of Neu Schwaben farm, located south of Karibib, will officially be given to the small-scale gemstone miners who are currently staying there.
“These people will be given proper plans to construct houses. We do not want informal settlements on that farm anymore. Government will also provide them with a clinic, kindergarten and water supply.”