8000 cattle succumb to dry spell

Cows can't walk nor stand, they are aided by tree branches or poles. Photo by Sheluzani Makhese, CAJ News Africa

Cows can’t walk nor stand, they are aided by tree branches or poles. Photo by Sheluzani Makhese, CAJ News Africa

from SHELUZANI MAKHESE in Chikombedzi, Zimbabwe
CHIKOMBEDZI, (CAJ News) A prolonged dry spell has wiped out thousands of cattle in Chiredzi district with Chikombezi being the most affected area.

Cattle death statistics availed to CAJ News Africa show that from September to November 2019, 6662 cattle died whilst in the month of December alone, 1347 more deaths were recorded.

These deaths have been attributed to a drought caused by a shortage of adequate rainfall in the low lying area.

Member of Parliament for Chiredzi South Callisto Gwanetsa confirmed the unfolding disaster in his constituency.

He noted that the problem was worsened by mismanagement of grazing pastures and lack of awareness campaigns to mitigate such deaths.

“We do not have rains and this has resulted in lack of sufficient grazing pastures resulting in domestic and wildlife animals succumbing to drought.

“It is very critical to guard our grazing pastures jealously unlike having people building homes where cattle are supposed to graze. This leads to the depletion of grazing pastures and the rural council , chiefs and district coordinator should enforce or enhance protection of such areas for the benefit of the cattle,” said Gwanetsa.

The legislator called for awareness campaigns to educate cattle farmers on possible measures to reduce the deaths of their livestock.

In November last year, ZANU-PF ward 10 councillor Leonard Makondo , during Cultural Trade Fair revealed that the community in Boli Mhlanguleni had embarked on a grass restoration project which is aimed at reviving the grazing pastures for cattle.

Chiredzi veterinary officials said they were not authorised to comment.

– CAJ News

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