Erongo farmers appreciate drought relief assistance

17 Aug 2016 08:10am
SWAKOPMUND, 17 AUG (NAMPA) – Drought-hit communal farmers in the Erongo Region, who last month received fodder to feed their livestock, have applauded Government for the assistance.
The lucerne and grass worth over N.dollars 2.2 million was bought by the Erongo Regional Council and First National Bank (FNB) Namibia.
Over 1 200 communal farmers from the Daures, Walvis Bay and Karibib constituencies benefited.
They each received two bundles of lucerne and four bundles of dry grass for their livestock.
Farmers told Nampa on Tuesday they are thankful and hope their livestock will stay alive until the rain comes; if it comes.
“I am happy my cattle now eat and become full. It is not a lot but it is a supplement to what I buy myself. Now, the problem is the animals refuse to go graze in the veld because they saw fodder at home,” said Paulina !Owases of Farm !Khomxadare outside Uis.
She said the drought has robbed her of eight cattle and 23 goats, leaving her with only 10 cattle and 20 goats.
Denis Goagorab of Farm !Gai //Naes said he is thankful because the fodder rescued some of his livestock that were about to die.
“If it is possible, they must please give us more. I had 18 cattle and now I only have seven. My goats also started dying and I have lost eight so far,” said Goagorab.
Janse Kontes from Tomib in Kudubis area said she is happy to see her animals eating well but is concerned that the fodder will not last long.
Kontes, who lost 20 cows, also requested more fodder.
Another farmer understood that there is not always enough for everybody.
“It is good that our government came to our rescue; I am happy. I cannot ask for more as I understand there is not enough for all of us,” said Fidel Brockerhoff.
He had 150 small livestock (goats and sheep) of which 50 died.
Handing over the fodder at Okombahe last month, Chief Regional Officer (CRO) Natalia /Goagoses said they diverted funds budgeted for development projects to support the most affected farmers.
“This is to demonstrate that Government is not sleeping on this drought issue,” she noted.
In June this year, President Hage Geingob officially declared a state of emergency on Namibia’s drought.
The same month, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said more than N.dollars 600 million will be spent on drought relief programmes from August 2016 to March 2017.