Illegal grazing of livestock a problem at Ongwediva

ONGWEDIVA: The Ongwediva Town Council has impounded a number of cattle that were allegedly driven into the town for grazing purposes on Tuesday.

Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, the town council’s spokesperson Andreas Utoni said some cattle owners deliberately drive their animals inside the town boundaries for grazing at 21h00 just to drive them out at around 04h00 the next day.

Some cattle owners have been warned to stop this practice, but they instead insulted town council officials or threaten them with assault, Utoni said.

“We understand the issue of drought, but it does not qualify the town to be used as a cattle post,” Utoni told this news agency.

He said the council will not tolerate this practice, and will subject the cattle owners to heavy penalties.

Utoni noted that this has mainly been going on for the past two months, with cattle herders apparently sitting at bars while their animals roam around the town.

He said the animals also destroy the property of the town’s residents who have at one point complained that the town of Ongwediva could no longer be distinguished from a village.

“We have residents who want to sue the town council because of their property being destroyed by cattle roaming around the town,” Utoni said.

He however noted that the council has allowed the farmers an opportunity to weed the grass in town and use it for their animals free-of-charge, as well as to graze their livestock at designated sites like near the construction camp of the Nexus Company and oshana near the town’s sewerage ponds.

One of the owners of the impounded cattle, who could only be identified as Kaanakadjuu from Okaandje village on the outskirts of Ongwediva, told this news agency that the absence of pasture at his village led to the cattle entering the town to graze.

The Ongwediva Town Council charges farmers N.dollars 18.40 per head of cattle to release impounded animals.