Etaka canal now death trap for livestock

13 Nov 2013 20:10pm
ONESI, 13 NOV (NAMPA) - Livestock owners in the Omusati Region have appealed for help to rescue their cattle and donkeys which get stuck in the mud of the drying Etaka water canal in the Onesi Constituency.
Several animals have died in the mud after venturing into the canal in search of water and grazing.
People are unable to rescue them out of fear they too will sink into the mud.
Over the past weekend, some 10 live cattle and donkeys were seen stuck in the mud.
“Hundreds of livestock have died in the mud of this canal since August when it started running out of water,” said one of the farmers, who was at the canal looking for his missing cattle on Sunday.
The same farmer told Nampa that most of the cattle dying in the canal belong to local farmers, while some cattle came here after escaping from cattle posts in the west of the Onesi Constituency.
The said canal is about 15km long.
Farmers requested Government to help prevent their animals from getting stuck in the canal by fencing it off or to acquire machines/tractors to clean the strip of such dangerous mud.
The Omusati regional councillor for the Onesi Constituency, Titus Kanyele told this news agency on Wednesday that the Omusati regional authority is well aware that the canal has become seriously dangerous.
Kanyele indicated that both his office and the Omusati Regional Council had run out of ideas as to how to prevent animals from moving into the canal, getting stuck and eventually dying.
“The fencing off of the canal is not possible, because I don’t think there are funds for this exercise. I believe the alternative and solution to the problem is for NamWater to start pumping water into the canal as it had been doing before,” Kanyele explained.
Spokesperson of NamWater, Johannes Shigwedha, could not comment on the matter when asked on Wednesday, only saying he will issue a media statement soon.
NamWater usually pumps water from the Calueque Dam in Angola through its Olushandja Dam near Ruacana.