21 January 2013

Namibia: MCA Offers Help to Northern Communal Farmers

Photo: Jessica Hatcher/IRIN
A man loads water collected from Lake Kivu onto his bicycle for sale in the rebel-held city of Goma, DRC.

Windhoek — For many farmers in the north of the country, the days of drawing water in buckets for livestock are over, thanks to the assistance of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) through Namibia's Community-Based Rangeland and Livestock Management (CBRLM) project.

The MCA-Namibia bulletin for December 2012 says water infrastructure in nine grazing areas have been upgraded to cater for larger cattle herds. This includes the establishment of 17 boreholes drilled at priority sites by the Directorate of Rural Water Supply Services (DRWSS). The publication was released last week.

Troughs, pumps, solar panels and other necessary infrastructure will be installed over the coming months with funds from MCA-Namibia.

Trash pumps are especially robust and designed to cope with water that contains sand, stone and other solid material.

Previously cattle were provided with water through the tedious process of scooping the life-giving substance with buckets from hand-dug wells and pouring it manually into troughs.

The CBRLM has developed a "water needs table" for all six northern regions in order to prioritise its activities effectively.

The MCA Namibia also says significant progress has been achieved in combined herding and training of farmers in the 12 demonstration areas located in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) and another 20 grazing areas are on track to be serviced.

Grazing Area Books were published and introduced on improved herd composition and marketing opportunities.

The MCA project also facilitated four successful cattle auctions in the NCAs, with the first auction held in the Kavango Region.

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