Keep your livestock out of road reserves

27 March 2019 | Accidents

The Roads Authority (RA) is calling on farmers to stop the practice of grazing their livestock in the road reserves of national roads, as livestock such as cattle and donkeys can cause fatal accidents.

Illegal grazing in road reserves has led to serious crashes on many of the country's roads.

This month, Ewi lyaNooli observed how stray livestock graze in the road reserves in the north-eastern regions.

Drivers must often bring their vehicles to a complete standstill while they wait for the animals to cross the road. In most instances, no livestock herders are visible.

According to two herders who were spotted with livestock grazing in the Rundu-Divundu road reserve, they have no alternative, as grass is scarce because of the drought.

To make matters worse, a veld fire destroyed much of the remaining grazing in August last year.

“We have no other place to take our livestock. In the veld there is no grass and that is why we are here along the main road where there is grass,” the cattle herders said. When contacted for comment, RA spokesperson Hileni Fillemon said the law prohibits grazing in road reserves.

Fillemon said the Roads Ordinance Act of 1972 provides the legal framework for the management of road reserves.

The RA is delegated by the transport ministry to enforce these regulations.

Fillemon said farmers must keep their animals off the roads.

“Animals, mainly cattle, are very large and are capable of causing damage, injury and even fatal car accidents. Farmers should ensure that their animals are kept within a reasonable distance from the road while grazing,” she said.

When asked whether farmers were aware of the law prohibiting them from grazing in road reserves, Fillemon said: “Yes, they are. The Roads Authority, through various communication platforms, has reached out to all the relevant stakeholders. The RA also directly issues notices to different stakeholders in consultation with the Namibian police.”



KENYA KAMBOWE

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