EASTERN Epukiro Farmers Association chairperson, Katjinduu Tjahuha has urged farmers at the Epukiro constituency to prepare for a severe drought season.
In an interview with Nampa on Friday, Tjahuha said the constituency has experienced three years of poor rainfall; therefore farmers need to do whatever they can to save their livestock.
"One can see that there will be many challenges facing us as a result of the poor rainfall, and chances of livestock survival are slim," Tjahuha said.
He added that underground water levels will be affected as well due to this, in addition to the lack of food for animals brought on by the drought.
"This will force farmers to move their livestock from one village to another which will lead to deaths of livestock," he said.
Tjahuha gave the examples of Otjijarua, Ozombouvapa, Ovinjuru and Otjombundiro, among others, where farmers at some point were moving their livestock to neighbouring villages to get water.
"It is time for farmers to make arrangements and make sure they save water. In some villages, the water tanks are small and cannot store a lot of water while some are damaged," he said.
Tjahuha also urged farmers to start vaccinating their livestock this season on the yearly government prescribed vaccines like Supervax and Brucella.
He added that Vitamin A vaccine is needed very much during this period as there is scarcity of vitamins in the pastures.
The chairperson also advised farmers to use pasteurella and pulpy kidney vaccines for small stock in advance.
"Even ticks and flies on livestock are on the increase because of the poor rainfall, therefore farmers must apply the required vaccines," advised Tjahuha. He advised farmers to acquaint themselves with the new bush crusher machine for making pasture palatable for livestock.
"I think it will be good if farmers form groups and buy this machine together, even the water point committees can use some funds to buy it," he requested.
The farmers' representative also took the time to compliment the government for making funds available to help farmers during this drought.
"This is a good initiative from the government and I believe farmers will benefit from it," he said. The government declared a state of emergency due to the drought and set aside N$573 million for drought relief.