FARMERS who were grazing their live stock in the road reserve between Omaruru and Karibib were allegedly threatened by the members of the Namibian Defence Force and forced to remove their animals.
One of the farmers, Mike Tjirare, who spoke to Informanté said the situation was very tense when about ten cars filled with soldiers showed up to forcefully remove the farmers from the military land.
“When we showed up at the reserve area two months ago looking for grazing because of the drought situation that has hit the farmers in the Daures constituency very hard, we found the fence of the camps dilapidated because of a fire that occurred last year,” said Tjirare.
He said the military is complaining that the farmers are infringing in a prohibited area to let their animals graze and evicted these farmers without any court order.
He stated that the nearby commercial farmers in the area are assisting them with water for their cattle.
The drought in Erongo is very critical especially in the Karibib, Daures constituencies whose inhabitants mainly depend on livestock farming.
Livestock have been dying especially in these two settlements leaving farmers and their families at the mercy of the regional council as they are now depending on drought relief.
According to the governor of Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, Erongo is hit hardest by the drought with several settlements such as Omatjete already being confronted with water shortage.
Currently, he says, water is being transported via trucks, as boreholes are dry thus putting further pressure on desperate farmers.
He says the situation will soon be experienced by residents of Omaruru and Uis who rely on groundwater for human consumption.
“At this stage, we are battling just to make sure our people have enough to drink, however, cattle are our biggest concern as there is simply no water or grazing. The other regions might have one or two areas still left for grazing to mitigate the drought but Erongo just don’t have anything,” Mutjavikua explained.