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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Silted dams now a death trap for cattle in Matobo

Story by Providence Maraneli

VILLAGERS in Matobo, Matabeleland South have sent a distress call after silted dams in their areas have turned into death traps for their livestock.

It is early the morning in Gohole in the Matobo district of Matabeleland South Province and since it is a weekend young Nkosinathi Ngwenya takes the turn to be at the once mighty Gohole dam which has become a pale shadow of its former self.

Despair is written all over Nkosi and his peers’ faces as they look at dry clay particles that continue to shrink and pull more tightly to each other.

The cracks and the excessively evaporated water points have become death traps for livestock – a sad reality of climate change.

Nkosi and other fellow villagers come to the dam to protect their livestock from getting into the muddy waters.

“I was sent here to look after our cattle so that they don’t get trapped in the dam. We rescued goats and another cow just now,” he says.

For other villagers, the situation has become so dire.

“I was called that my cow has been trapped and we spent hours trying to remove it, we need help, the dam has become a trap, just last week we removed five cattle. This dam was the source of water for more than 1 000 households but it silted and by now we should be talking about plenty of water in the dam but because of climate change we have lost hope.”

The district has since partnered ARDA Antelope to rescue the situation.

With the Meteorological Service Department having predicted a lean summer cropping season, villagers’ hope is now on boreholes.

The Government is working flat out to provide water for consumption and irrigation through the sinking of boreholes in all the 25 000 villages across the country under the rural industrialisation drive.

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