Livestock farmers in the northern regions face a serious challenge to ensure thousands of their cattle survive the unfolding drought due to the lack of grazing.
Many farmers from the Omusati and Ohangwena regions have flocked to the Uuvudhiya constituency in the Oshana region to feed their cattle. The Uuvudhiya and Okatyali constituencies are believed to have the largest grazing land.
Omusati governor Erginus Endjala said if the situation continues like this until month-end, it will end in tears.
“We are at the point where we don’t have a choice, but to let everything as it is. There is no hope anymore,” he stressed.
He explained that livestock farmers might lose their cattle because of hunger and thirst.
“The situation is like this: in areas where there is feed, there is no water. Where there is water, there is no feed, so livestock trek a long distance to get both,” the governor stated.
Uuvudhiya councillor Timoteus Shivute told New Era that livestock farmers from other regions are camping in their constituency in search of grazing areas to feed their cattle.
“The situation is worrisome; farmers are stressed and left with no options,” he said.
Shivute added that although farmers came to camp, there is not enough grazing due to several veldfires last year which decimated grazing land.
So far, there are luckily no reports of death due to the drought.
Sam Shikongo, who has a cattle post in the Uuvudhiya constituency, appealed to fellow farmers to sell their livestock while they still look healthy.
“By selling, you would at least have money instead of watching your livestock die one by one,” he advised.
Shikongo equally urged buyers to stick to a market-related price.
“Farmers opt not to sell because of the low prices offered by customers,” he continued.