Omaheke farmer loses 24 goats to lightning

GOBABIS; Showers that fell over the greater part of the Omaheke Region last week brought a mixture of relief and grief for various farmers.

While many welcomed the rain, a young farmer, Unomasa Mbaisa of Okazapamba village in the Otjinene Constituency on Tuesday lost 24 goats after they were stuck by lightning.

About 30 millimeters (mm) of rain was measured in the area on Tuesday, farmers have confirmed.

The 27-year-old Mbaisa told Nampa on Sunday he only discovered the loss of his goats the next morning as he carried out inspection to his kraals. Only a goat ram and several offspring of the dead goats were spared.

The goat ram has since developed a huge swelling on the right shoulder and has also been struggling to maintain its balance, he said.

He said most of the offspring are less than a month old and were entirely dependent on their mothers’ milk, which makes it hard for him to feed them as they do not take solid feeds at this age.

Mbaisa said as the main breadwinner to about seven dependents, including school-going children, the loss of his livestock will drastically reduce his means of feeding his family.

“I appeal to fellow farmers and fellow Namibians to come to my aid in any way possible. It does not have to be much, every small contribution that will allow me to build up my goat herd again will be welcomed,” he said.

Lightning strikes on livestock, especially goats and sheep, are not uncommon in the Omaheke Region. Farmers here estimate that at least five goats are lost to lightning in each kraal during the rainy season.

Mbaisa is the second farmer to lose a high number of livestock to lightning in less than two weeks. A week ago, another farmer from the Okondjatu area of the Otjozondjupa Region lost 71 goats.