Opuwo Town Council issues warning as roaming livestock hinder development

OPUWO: The Opuwo Town Council has issued a warning to livestock owners to maintain suitable enclosures to keep their livestock from roaming within the town’s boundaries.

Extensive amounts of livestock, including goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs, are currently being kept within the town’s boundaries, with some being brought in from neighbouring villages.

The growth in the animal population poses unique challenges, with the town council’s technical director, Karui Rikambura, describing the situation as problematic and ‘backward.’

Rikambura noted in a recent interview with Nampa that the situation is concerning since it hinders development at the town and narrows its scope to village level.

He said one of the contributing factors is the region’s 10-year drought, which has forced farmers to migrate to towns in search of greener pastures and water for their remaining animals.

Despite the council’s concerted efforts, Rikambura stated that keeping animals out of the town boundaries is nearly impossible since Opuw
o, like other northern towns, is located in common lands with no fencing to keep the animals at bay.

Rikambura also voiced his discontent with the town council’s excessive expenditure on maintaining the impounded animals, saying the penalty for confiscating the livestock is insufficient to compensate for the monies set aside to care for them.

‘The council frequently loses thousands of dollars in holding these animals,’ Rikambura said.

In some cases, the council spends at least N.dollars 2 000 per cow only for the owner to pay less than N.dollars 200 in detention fees.

The transgressor’s charge under the pound regulations of the Local Authorities Act is N.dollars 1.00 per animal per day for all animals except for sheep and goats, and N.dollars 5.00 per sheep or goat per day.

Grazing costs for all animals except sheep and goats are set at N.dollars 4.50 per animal per day, and N.dollars 2.30 per sheep or goat per day.

Feeding costs for all animals except sheep and goats are N.dollars 8.25 per animal per d
ay, with goats and sheep being charged at N.dollars 2.50.

The council has said it cannot be held liable for any missing, dead or sick animals, or any damage to gardens or crops by animals kept withing town boundaries.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency