A few scattered showers and overcast skies yesterday had many communal farmers in the //Karas Region
optimistic that more rain could fall soon. Farmers battling the current drought facing the country said although they have lost their livestock to the drought, the few showers have left them in high spirits that their remaining animals will not die due to the lack of grazing or water.
Some of the small farmers New Era spoke narrated their hardships they’ve suffered the past years, saying they had to do all in their power to avoid losing all their livestock. Others said the withering of their grasslands forced them to move around like nomads looking for new grazing areas.
While pastures are diminished and continue to be scarce, water has also become a problem for farmers in the region as most boreholes are drying up, with little water left underground, which makes it difficult for both humans and animals to survive. Roma Skreyver, 25, says farmers in his area are losing their livestock day by day, but he is optimistic that the region will soon receive good rains.
“There is no grass left. Our animals have nothing left to eat and they eat anything they can find, but we hope this is the start to a good rainy season,” he said. He narrated how he had to watch his animals die of thirst or hunger, while moving from place to place looking for better pasture, indicating that he will lose everything if no rain is received soon. He says he depends heavily on his livestock for survival as he is unemployed, but the drought has
already killed many of his goats and sheep and only left him with 30 animals from the 50 he previously
had. Anna Swartbooi, 37, a farmer at Bloubids, 40 kilometres north of Keetmanshoop, says the few showers have sparked a ray of hope amongst farmers who almost gave up on farming.
She stated that many farmers have almost lost everything and the showers received in the region are for many a sign that things might get better in the coming days. “Our dams are getting dry and we have no grass for our animals. It’s really getting tough but we have faith that we will receive more showers in the coming days,” she said as she watched her animals scrap amongst each other for the little water available at a communal water point.