UUVUDHIYA - Uuvudhiya Constituency in Oshana Region, which this year took in livestock from all over the northern part of the country because of its good grazing, is now home to decomposed cattle carcasses as grazing depletes.
The landscape is barren with no grazing in sight except in some two or three areas where individuals have fenced off large portions of land.
There are a few carcasses along the road, but the number increases as one drives further into Uuvudhiya.
At the first stop at Engombe, 10 carcasses were found at one spot.
Thereafter, at least five carcasses of cattle are found after every few minutes’ drive. These are animals that died after taking water.
Cattle herders claim that cattle that have been without water for many days die if they consume too much water at once.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has collected at least 300 ear tags from the unclaimed animals, officials say.
Collection of ear tags aids the ministry to trace the owners of such livestock.
Although there is a plea from the Namibian National Farmers Union for farmers to register their dead livestock in order to create a database, farmers remain reluctant to do so.
Further deep into the cattle posts area, it becomes common to see carcasses spread over the landscapes.
In addition to those that are dead, others lie idle unable to move waiting to die.
Also noticeable at the cattle post is the sight of meat of some of the known cattle, those unknown are left to decompose.
Simeon Amunime a cattle herder said they have lost 60 cattle from their cattle post between November and now.
“We have moved them from three different places since then. But the problem is that if the area has good grazing there is no water and where there is water there is no grazing,” said Amunime.
Amunime said at the moment the cattle walk up to 30km to Okatyali Constituency for grazing but return three days later to drink.
Only those with cars and means ferry water to their livestock saving them from trekking the vast distance.
The 71-year-old Junias Iipinge said he has never seen a drought like that of this year.
“There has been other droughts, but it was not as bad as this,” said Iipinge.
Iipinge said he lost 10 cattle in two months.
“My friend came with seven and left empty-handed,” said Iipinge.
Another elderly Simon Matheus said he has also not witnessed this kind of drought.
Matheus however said many of the cattle that are dying are those that are new to the area.
“Some when they get here are already tired to walk a distance, while several others have consumed harmful substances such as plastic bags,” said Matheus.