Drought forces farmers to relocate cattle to Ohangwena for grazing

05 Sep 2019 12:00pm
ONGWEDIVA, 05 SEP (NAMPA) - The severe drought conditions that have affected the country have forced farmers from regions such as Omusati, Oshana and Kunene to relocate their cattle to Okongo, in the Ohangwena Region, for grazing.
Speaking to Nampa in a telephonic interview recently, chief regional officer (CRO) of the Ohangwena Regional Council, Fillipus Shilongo confirmed 4 500 cattle from the aforesaid regions relocated to Ohangwena Region for grazing and to survive the effects of the drought.
Asked if such livestock relocation is being carried out with the consent of the regional authority and within the ambit of the veterinary laws of the land, Shilongo said all the cattle have been registered with the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry before they are moved to Ohangwena.
Former Namibian High Commissioner to Botswana and veteran of the liberation struggle, Hadino Hishongwa in an interview with Nampa at Ongha village earlier this month expressed concern over the relocation of the livestock and demanded to know if the government is aware of it.
“If government is aware, what measures have been taken to provide necessary assistance to those farmers in terms of registration of relocated cattle, provision of water, vaccination and healthcare?” asked Hishongwa.
Some farmers who relocated with their livestock to the northeast of Ohangwena have further crossed the border into neighbouring Angola and are grazing their livestock in southern Angola.
“Vaccination, especially of livestock crossing the border to and from Angola, is required to avoid possible outbreak of disease infection in the cattle,” he narrated.
According to Hishongwa, government also needs to move in to harmonise the situation between the local and incoming farmers, bearing in mind that friction is sometimes experienced where a number of people are gathered.
“The regional authority, in collaboration with the local Veterinary Services Directorate, is closely monitoring the movement of all the cattle relocated to the region and offers necessary help,” Shilongo replied.
Ohangwena regional councillor for the Okongo Constituency, Fanuel Ndadi on Wednesday told this news agency that relocation of cattle to his constituency continues, but no longer at the rate of the past months.
“Currently it goes up to three days without seeing transportation of cattle in the area, while it was done on a daily basis the past months,” Ndadi said.