NKURENKURU – The nation-wide drought is making its presence felt by livestock in Mankumpi Constituency of Kavango West Region as villagers say the dry spell that resulted in empty communal granaries has started affecting the grass in grazing areas.
Villagers spoken to by this reporter as he undertook a visit to assess the current drought situation in that constituency said although at this point of time there is water they are concerned for the survival of their livestock as the grass is becoming depleted.
“Even if you go in the bushes now you will see that it is barren and there is no grass,” moaned Bonifatius Kalimbwe from Satotwa village in Kavango West.
The deteriorating situation has forced the villagers to leave their cattle to stay in the bushes so they can graze even at night fearing that they do not get enough grass if they are only graze during the day.
“We just give them water then leave them to graze day and night,” added Kalimbwe.
On a positive note he said the water at least keeps their livestock going as they graze on the little grass and the available dry leaves.
Kalimbwe fears the situation will worsen in summer and that villagers might end up losing large numbers of their cattle which they consider their only status of wealth.
Because people did not harvest much this year, the fields are dry and there is no millet stalks and other left overs in the fields for cattle to graze on to complement to their diet in the absence of sufficient grass.
“Even if the cattle go in the fields there is nothing to feed on. Usually they would feed on millet stalks but there is nothing, going in the bushes there is also no grass,” said Gabriel Yipanda from Kasikili village.
When good rain is received, usually there would be sufficient grass for livestock to last until the next rainy season.
* Stefanus Nambara is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) at Nkurenkuru in Kavango West Drought depletes grass in Mankumpi