n Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro
WINDHOEK – It is crystal clear when it comes to the re-currency of roaming buffaloes in the Otjozondjupa Region, the stake-holding leaderships, whatever its content and form, shape, hue, cultural, political and/or religious nature and flavour, do not carry the confidence of the farming community at large.
A meeting of farmers from the regions of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, resident and those working in Windhoek last Thursday could not mince their words that the leadership at many levels, be it governmental and non-governmental, simply does not have balls as far as they are concerned, hence its indifference if not reluctance both in spirit and flesh and financial wherewithal to solve the recurrent problem of buffaloes, especially in the Otjozondjupa.
The region does not deserve this proud name anymore, but must become ‘Otjozonyati region of buffaloes’, because this is today the reality of the region. They think for close to nine years or so, the area, which many have never known it for buffaloes, is now a reality without the community ever reaping any benefits thereof. On the contrary, it is the farming community that has been bearing the costs, with little bother from all the leaders to, let alone cushion the economic burden that the farming community has been bearing since. Hence the establishment of a pressure group known as Onyati.
Immediately the group shall be striving for the immediate and urgent uplift of the ban on the movement of animals in the constituency, and ultimately and in the long term for the banishment of this dreaded animal from the constituency ala no more Onyatis in the constituency in the mode and vogue of “no more elephants in Omatjete/Otjohorongo”. The group has been coming for some time now, only delayed lately by the stakeholders meeting by the Otjonzondjupa governor, which to them, like many previous half-hearted, gimmicking and superficial efforts has been a disappointment. It is clear that the farmers are no longer amused by the efforts of the powers that be to once and for all address the issue of buffaloes, which are no more just a nuisance to the farmers but an economic menace.
A community under economic siege, his is how the economic situation of the farming communities in the Okakarara Constituency can be described that has for close to two months now have been subject to a ban on the movement of animals.
This literally means that these communities, for whom farming, especially animal husbandry, and cattle in particular, is the only means of subsistence, have been unable to sell their livestock since the banning of the movement of animals late April following the sighting of a buffalo at the village of Okarui.
The buffalo more than a month after has not been found and the ban on the movement of animals remains in force thus condemning the farming community to an economic siege.