Drought-stricken Warmbad advised to sell livestock

Report
from New Era
Published on 04 Oct 2017 View Original

Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop-Selling off some of their livestock is the best possible solution for farmers in the drought stricken Warmbad area, which reportedly received between 3 and 10 millimetres of rain last season.

This is according to Karasburg East constituency councillor Dennis Coetzee, who said the farmers should not risk losing all their livestock to the drought but should instead sell some. This, he says, would not only give the farmers much needed income, but also reduce their livestock to a number that they can afford to feed during the drought period. In May this year, Cootze told New Era that almost 19 000 animals were on the brink of starvation at Warmbad and surrounding areas. Now, a few months down the line, Cootzee maintains that although the situation has improved slightly, there is a need for farmers to sell to avoid losses. He said the farmers were assisted by the //Karas regional council, which bought and distributed lucerne worth N$45 000 to all affected farmers, but says this alone was not enough. The situation could get worse if rains do not come in good volumes and farmers must not depend on donations forever. “I advise the farmers to sell some of their livestock,” he said. “With this rain pattern it is difficult to say if we will receive rain or not, so instead of losing their animals it is better to sell and buy again when times are better,” he said.

He said the provision of animal feed to the farmers by government is not sustainable, and farmers will be back to square one when the lucerne provided is up.

Statistics show that about 18 795 animals face death due to lack of grazing areas, with 8679 goats, 7297 sheep, 1996 cattle, 456 horses and 367 donkeys from 29 communal and 28 resettled farmers within the Warmbad area. Coetzee indicated that his office has been up and down seeking assistance for the farmers, but thus far only the regional council have extended a helping hand, and this, according to him, is why farmers should help themselves by selling some of their livestock rather than waiting for help that might never come.

He also informed New Era that one of the offices he approached was that of the deputy prime minister. Although the response has been positive, with a team already dispatched to assess the situation, nothing has yet been received. “A delegation from the deputy prime minister office was in Warmbad and they are willing to assist but so far they have not indicated when we can expect to get assistance, so I really do not know when they will be able to help,” he stated.

Warmbad is situated south of Karasburg in the //Kharas Region