Namibia

Drought stalks Aminuis farmers

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By Albertina Nakale

Despite the fact that most parts of Namibia have received goods rains and promising grazing, Aminuis constituency in the Omaheke region continues to feel the pinch of persistent drought.

With the prolonged drought in Aminuis, more than 400 livestock have died as farmers watch their animals helplessly succumb to famine.

Livestock farming is the main source of income in the constituency and there are auction pens at Corridor 13, Onderombapa, Aminuis, Leonardville, and Farm Monica.

Such persistent drought has severely affected livestock auctions, which are normally held on a rotational basis at the different places to cater for the needs of the farmers. Constituency councillor Peter Kazongominja in an interview with New Era yesterday said that in the second week of December they received good showers.

“But to our disappointment, the rain has disappeared, only little showers come our way now. We are still waiting for rain, although we are not as bad as we were in December. The grass that had grown since December has since dried up due to sun heat. Mopane worms also attacked and destroyed trees, making the situation worse for livestock to graze,” Kazongominja said.

He noted the farmers are still not happy, as they are hoping the rains will still come. He said the livestock are still yet to recover from the drought, although the mortalities have minimised compared to last year’s fatalities.

According to him, the farmers are still in need of animal fodder. He said the last consignment of animal fodder was last delivered in December. “Whatever assistance comes our way; we will really appreciate it. Farmers are no longer in a position to buy fodder,” he said.

Late last year, the Omaheke Regional Council distributed 58 x 50kg bags of fodder, 58 x 20kg boxes of nutrient blocks and 58 bales of grass, valued at N$38 918.

The beneficiaries each received three bales of grass, three boxes of nutrient blocks and three bags of fodder, as well as 20kg of maize meal and five tins of fish from the drought relief programme. In terms of drought food relief, he noted they still receive food rations such as maize, cooking oil and tinned fish.

However, he bemoaned that the transport issue remains a challenge, as the food is delivered late to the beneficiaries. He also fears that if food is kept too long in the warehouse, then they might get spoiled without benefiting the needy communities.

Hence, he appealed to the Omaheke Regional Council to improve the transport logistic chain for food to be delivered on time.