Omaheke Receives Splendid Rains

Farmers in Omaheke Region whose livestock were severely affected by the drought have praised the good rains received in many parts of the country since December last year.

The Omaheke Region was one of the regions hit very hard by drought in terms of the effects both on humans and livestock. The region lost close to 500 livestock due to the recurrent drought that swept across the country.

New Era caught up with former deputy prime minister Dr Libertina Amathila who retired in March 2010 after a long political voyage and is now a successful farmer in Omaheke.

The 73-year-old retired politician who farms with cattle, sheep, goats and chickens said as farmers they are “smiling” due to the recent good rains.

“We are all smiling. The animals are now in good condition. The grass is falling in their (animals’) mouths, even myself, the grass is over my head,” she laughingly said. Amathila farms in the Nona area some 118 kilometre from Gobabis. Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele also confirmed that farmers in the region are pleased with the good rains that fell since December.

“We must thank the Almighty God for the good rains. The condition of the livestock is excellent. I am happy for the rainfall and I believe farmers are also happy,” he said.

He said the only concern the region now faces in some areas is over-grazing.

“Some farmers are over-grazing in certain areas like in Aminuis. I urge farmers to adhere to the carrying capacity of the land. Even if we get good rains, the grazing will not be as good as in other areas where there is no over-grazing. The best way is to adhere to carrying capacity and reserve grazing for next year or in times of drought,” aised Ueitele.

Further, Ueitele said farmers should consider selling off some livestock to avoid over-grazing and huge losses when drought hits. He said the region normally receives between 300 and 500 millimetres of rain, but rainfall figures now exceed the normal rainfall for this time of the year.

Equally, Aminuis Constituency Councillor Erwin Uanguta who is also a farmer concurred with Amathila and Ueitele, saying farmers are in high spirits over the good rains.

“We were one of the hardest hit constituencies. We are now happy because we have plenty of water. When it comes to grazing, some areas have not yet recovered well, but 90 percent of the animals have recovered. You can see animals at the auctions are in good condition. Most farmers are happy, although many lost their livestock due to drought last year,” he said.

The governor cautioned farmers and residents to avoid veldfires or anything that can contribute to wildfires in grazing areas. There are over 700 commercial and thousands of communal farms in Omaheke.

Source : New Era