Omatjete farmers say returning home would mean losing livestock

Drought stricken farmers in the Erongo Region fear going back to their respective villages as this would mean risking their livestock for dead due to harsh drought situation in the region.

The farmers who were recently asked to vacate Farm Etiro in the Karibib area which belongs to the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) are mainly from Omatjete and surrounding areas.

In an interview with Nampa on Friday, some of the farmers who migrated to the Karibib area about three months ago, said it is better for them to remain in the corridors in order to find grazing for their livestock.

Those who have decided to go back to Omatjete, although distressed, have come to terms with losing their livestock and are therefore just waiting for them to die as there is not enough grazing land in the corridors, said one of the farmers UeripiTjahikika.

The farmers expressed how at least close to five cattle are lost every week.

This is disheartening, because these cattle are basically are livelihood and the more we lose, the more we are compromised and are bound to live in poverty, Tjahikika added.

Some of these farmers are currently camped on a farm belonging to the Omaruru Municipality, situated about 13 kilometres from the town.

Additionally, the disgruntled farmers have also petitioned President HageGeingob to ensure that all unoccupied resettlement farms be opened to the farmers in need of grazing during the drought period.

In the petition read by the farmer's Spokesperson Mike Tjirare here on Friday, the farmers also called on other drought relief solutions like the Bush-to-Fodder initiative be urgently investigated in order to assist farmers to debush their areas while they feed their animals in the process.

We also demand with immediate effect for all the farms of the government offices, ministries and agencies to be made accessible for provisional grazing to these farmers, Tjirare added.

Source: Namibia Press Agency