Delayed rains distress farmers

by Nuusita Ashipala

Omuntele

Although the skies seem overcast prospects of good rain could be short-lived as the clouds are being blown away by strong winds, leaving farmers in despair about the dreadful prospects of yet another drought.

Unlike previous years, farmers claim the rain is delayed and fear a poor harvest, as the persistent drought, which affects both their livestock and their livelihood. Those were the sentiments of Onanke subsistence farmers in the Omuntele Constituency of Oshikoto Region.



Onanke is popular for both crop and livestock farming. “We have ploughed, but the rain was not sufficient. We have also already planted hoping that when it rains our crops will spring up,” said Hilma Uupindi.

According to Uupindi, during this time in previous years, many of the people in the surrounding area would already have crops in their fields. While some have ploughed their fields, many remain untouched because there is not enough moisture.

Crop production is not the only issue affecting the farmers in the area, as they also agonise over grass for their livestock, including goats, cattle and sheep.

The farmers are also worried about the lack of water in the area. According to Simon Matheus, the area has been without water for at least four days.

“We understand there is a burst pipe somewhere and now we are struggling to provide water for the livestock,” said Matheus.

Since the water pipe burst some four days earlier, the community has resorted to tapping underground water from a well in the area, but according to Matheus the water is unfit for human or animal consumption.

“The water is too salty, but what we can do? Four days is just too much,” he said.
The community also decried a lack of telephone networks to report issues affecting them promptly to the relevant officers.

Constituency Councillor Sacky Nangula told New Era that getting a network to the area is top of their agenda. Nangula also said there are plans to extend water infrastructure at the area so as to serve a wider community.

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