The impact of the drought on farming in the northern communal areas (NCAs) has forced the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) to revise the emergency movement control measures of livestock that were announced after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease in April.
Acting Permanent Secretary of the MAWF Abraham Nehemia says although communal farmers in the FMD-affected areas still are not allowed to move their animals from the areas, they will now be allowed to let their animals drink water and graze anywhere in the same zones.
That is if no new FMD case has been reported in the past 28 days within a radius of 10 kilometres of a grazing area to which a farmer wants to take his/her animals for water and grazing.
According to the new measures, communal farmers in affected areas are also allowed to transport their cattle, goats, sheep and pigs to abattoirs in the affected areas on condition that the animals are slaughtered within 24 hours.
Such farmers will also be allowed to transport their animals to kraals at approved municipal abattoirs.
Areas that are currently classified as FMD affected zones are the entire Ohangwena, Okankolo, Onyaanya, Omuthiya, Eengodi,Onyena and Oniipa constituencies in Oshikoto Region; the Odangwa, Okaku, Ongwediva, Oshakati East, Oshakati West and Okatana constituencies in Oshana Region; Mpungu Constituency in Kavango West and part of the constituencies north of the C46 road.
According to Nehemia, the areas which surround the infected areas comprise of the entire NCA west of the Sharmogorwa veterinary fence, excluding the infected area.
Shamogorwa fence forms the boundary between Mukwe and Ndiyona in Kavango East.
Farmers are also allowed to trek with their animals in search of grazing and water within the various constituencies (excluding infected areas and the Etosha National Park).
Animals are allowed to be slaughtered at abattoirs in those areas but no animal will be allowed to leave the areas.