Botswana: Vandalism of Veterinary Fence Worrisome

Kgari — Residents of Kgari village in the North East District have expressed displeasure over the vandalism of the veterinary fence by some locals.

In an interview with BOPA recently, Kgosi Godfrey English said some people had made it a habit of opening gaps in the fence to trespass into the forest with donkey carts.

He stated that the perpetrators cut the fence to go into the forest to collect firewood and logs for building kraals and farms.

Kgosi English decried that this fueled deforestation as some residents cut down healthy trees, without acquiring permits from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

He discouraged cutting of trees because it caused a lot of damage to the forest.

He stated that deforestation had led to enlargement of dongas and valleys along the veterinary fence, which could be avoided if people desist from cutting down trees.

Kgosi English expressed fear with the rate at which Mophane tree was being cut, noting that the tree would go extinct, hence affecting the ecosystem.

He said Mophane tree contributed immensely to the ecosystem as food for Mophane worm, acts as a wind breaker and beautifies the forest.

He called on residents of all villages near which the veterinary fence passes to notify authorities whenever they saw suspicious activities along the fence.

Meanwhile, Kgosi English said the holes in the fence also enabled cattle from Kgari, Masukwane and Ramokgwebana to move freely across Zones C3 and 6A, which posed a great danger in that diseases would not be controlled easily, should there be an outbreak.

He indicated that currently, livestock from as far as Kgari and Masukwane grazed by the railway line and the A1 road, hence causing road accidents.

Department of Veterinary Services officer in the North East District, Mr Kangangwani Malumbela reiterated that the vandalism of the veterinary fence was a big headache for government, which spent millions of pula maintaining it to control livestock movement so as to curb any disease outbreaks.

Mr Malumbela said Zone 3C in which Kgari village falls, was a buffer zone for Zone 6A, which was critical in that it housed BMC Francistown.

He stated that the veterinary fence from Mbalambi to Vukwi was repaired in 2016/17, while the line from Mosojane to Ramokgwebana was repaired last year.

Mr Malumbela said government had a provision for farmers to express their interest for the Department of Veterinary Services to install a gate to allow them to move easily, rather than cutting the fence. He said his department would look into their request to determine if it warranted a gate, whose upkeep remains with farmers.

Source : BOPA

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