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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Nkayi livestock farmers lament cattle deaths

Story by Mhlomuli Ncube

WITH the country facing an Elnino-induced lean season, communal livestock farmers in Nkayi have raised a red flag as the soaring heat continues to deplete water and pastures, with livestock scrambling for the little available water.

Farmers are already reporting livestock deaths and mud traps, all linked to water shortages.

“We are at a very critical time, we are losing our cattle and goats,” said a farmer.

Another said, “I am praying for divine intervention, there is no water anymore, and our cattle are dying.”

The situation has even prompted community elders to consider revisiting rainmaking ceremonies.

“We should conduct the rain-making ceremony. We used to do it and it would help a lot,” said a community elder.

Another elder said, “Let us go back to our old ways. Conduct a rainmaking ceremony the traditional way, while those who go to church also pray.”

The local leadership is equally concerned.

“The loss of livestock has a huge impact on our communities. For us, livestock, especially cattle, is equivalent to our bank deposits. When we lose livestock, we have lost a lifeline,” said Nkayi’s Ward 17 Councillor, Alson Ndlovu.

It is, however, not all gloom for the people of Nkayi, with their hope lying in the ongoing construction of Ziminya Dam which is expected to end water woes in the area.

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