Drought robs Okombahe's MLH of cattle

08 Apr 2017 11:40am
OKOMBAHE, 08 APR (NAMPA) – Martin Luther High School lost its whole herd of 93 cattle to the drought between 2015 and 2016.
Thirteen of their 15 horses also died.
In 1990, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN), which owns the school, spent close to N.dollars 20 000 to buy cattle, which was amongst others used to feed learners boarding at the school.
At the moment there are more than 240 learners and 12 teachers teaching Grades 8 to 12.
Nampa visited the school, situated eight kilometres east of the Okombahe settlement in the Erongo Region, on Tuesday, where Pastor Jakob Frederick said they started losing cattle in 2015.
“We tried to buy lucerne to feed them, but that did not help. There were rotten carcasses almost everywhere on the farm, it was such a disturbing sight,” Frederick said.
Frederick said the cattle grazed on the 4 000 hectare fenced farm which belongs to the school.
The animals however moved towards the communal land surrounding the farm when the pasture was depleted, walking about 10 kilometres every day in the direction of Uis to search for grazing and back to the farm for water.
“There was however also no food where they walked to so all the cattle eventually became weak and thin and then died.”
He said for now, the school management and Government have to spend money on buying meat for the learners, an expense they did not have when they had their own cattle.
In the meantime the school board took a decision to allow the land to recover this year while they decide on whether to buy new cattle and start farming again in 2018.
Frederick said they do not have the money to buy new cattle, but will ask other churches and companies for assistance.
“This year we will just start a small vegetable garden to supplement our diet and maybe also sell the surplus to local shops,” said the pastor.
He welcomed help from any other parties that might want to assist the school.
Martin Luther High School was started in Karibib in 1962 before it was moved to Okombahe in 1970 due to pressure from the South African administration for it to move to a formerly black area.