Kunene receives good rainfall, but too late for crops

25 Mar 2014 12:00pm
OPUWO, 25 MAR (NAMPA) – Good rainfalls received in the Kunene Region over the past week would see grass grow for livestock to enjoy, but it’s too late for crops like mahangu.
Just three weeks ago, most farmers in the region feared that the devastating drought they have been experiencing for the past three years would continue.
The headman of Omakange village, David Tjimuhiva told Nampa on Tuesday that his village has received good rain this past week, and the grass is expected to grow to maturity for their livestock to graze on.
“The only problem is the mahangu crops which will not sprout due to the late rains,” he noted.
The town of Opuwo has recorded rainfall of about 72 millimetres in seven days, while earth-dams in some villages are full of water and rivers have been flowing non-stop for the past days.
Roads to the Etanga village - situated about 100 kilometres west of Opuwo - have been cut off since Saturday as the Oute River is running hard, preventing motor-vehicles from crossing.
Community members travelling to Etanga now have to go through Okangwati north of Opuwo first, which is about 120 kilometres away, and then cover another 70 kilometres to get to Etanga.
Local nurse Kauta Koruhama from the Etanga State Clinic told this agency today that the areas of Etanga, Omundjaondu, Ondundujakambonde, Ozongoto, Otjihaa, Okaanga and Okatapati have all received good rains.
“We are happy with the rain, but villages like Orupembe, Onjuva, Ongutu and Otjinunguwa have not received rain yet,” she stated.
Katetete Runda of the Omanda village in the Epupa Constituency said their area also received good rainfalls, but he too is worried that the crop farmers would lose as some started ploughing their fields late due to the long periods without rain.
Runda, however, requested Government to continue with its drought relief programme for farmers who do not have crops in their fields due to late rains.