Donkey problems at Okahao remain

27 June 2018 | Local News

Stray livestock, especially donkeys from nearby villages, remain one of the biggest challenges at the town of Okahao in the Omusati Region.

Livestock grazing on town land is a problem facing many local authorities in the north.

The Okahao town council says the problem is aggravated by the fact that the donkeys do not have ear tags or brands that would allow the authorities to trace their owners.

This has resulted in the council having to spend thousands of dollars on feed for impounded donkeys.

When Ewi lyaNooli visited the Okahao council pound this month; it held more than 50 donkeys.

Council CEO Timoteus Namwandi attributed the situation to the introduction of tractors, which means that people don't use donkeys to plough their land in the traditional way anymore.

“What I think the cause is for the free-roaming donkeys in town is because they have lost their value, as people are now ploughing their mahangu fields with tractors,” Namwandi said.

He added that donkey owners do not mark them with ear tags as they do with other livestock.

He said when it comes to impounded goats and cows it is easy to identify and trace the owners.

“When we impound animals like goats and cows, the owners are traced the same day,” Namwandi said.

“Donkeys destroy a lot. In town they even attempt to open taps and if they are successful a person's water bill goes up. People who have plants and grass in their yards are also suffering because of these free-roaming livestock,” Namwandi said.

To solve the problem, the council decided to implement impounding regulations which permit them to auction unclaimed livestock after 30 days.

“There is a policy which we make use of, which is the impounding regulation that states that you can only detain livestock for 30 days and after that they become council property and then they can be auctioned. Even recently we had an auction,” Namwandi said.

He encouraged farmers to mark their livestock so that they can be returned if they go astray.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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