By: Annakleta Haikera
The Namibia Industrial Development Agency chief executive officer Mihe Gaomab II has apologised for the death of more than 100 cattle at the Kavango Cattle Ranch.
The Kavango Cattle Ranch is approximately 168,900 hectares and comprises over 40 individual farms primarily for livestock production.
Gaomab was part of a delegation led by finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi that visited the farm in the Mangetti area of Kavango West on Saturday.
The livestock is said to have died because of negligence after NIDA ordered the workers to move out to avoid elephant attacks.
Shiimi, who was in the Kavango regions where he was carrying out budget consultation, was accompanied to the farm by NIDA board members, Kavango West regional councillors and some farm workers.
During the visit to the farm, five cattle carcasses were found at a water point. The delegation also found that most of the dams were empty.
Gaomab assured the minister and the delegates that the situation would change and that no livestock would be left to die of negligence.
He said the NIDA management would take action regarding the safety of the farm workers against elephants or any other wildlife.
According to Goamab, all the overall employees will receive an increment of 4,3 per cent because, over the past three years, employees did not receive any increase.
“It is no secret that we are faced with cashflow problems, but through the guidance of the board’s chairperson, we will make a solid intervention to address the employees’ salaries and allowance.
“I know I’ve only been here for over a year, but Mangetti East’s situation is more challenging than in Mangetti West. Most of the employees are not stationed where the cattle breeding is.
“We have lost one life to the elephant, and many workers were scattered during this process. Through this, workers will get a bush allowance, and we want all the employees to return to their stations, and all the elephants will be moved to their distinction area,” Gaomab said.
Shiimi said the government commits to support NIDA and make things better.
“We want to support the management and NIDA board for the businesses to move forward. We can solve problems if we all start working together.
“Let’s not fight but bring out all the issues and solve them together. If we all work hard, we are all going to benefit. At the moment, NIDA has financial problems if all the employees and NIDA bring their part. We will fix NIDA together, and no cattle will die because if the cattle continue dying, Namibia will not make money,” Shiimi said.
The Kavango Cattle Ranch chairperson Kasingana Galius said most of the dams at the Namibia Industrial Development Agency farm in Kavango West are dry.
Galius told The Villager that the five carcasses were not the only ones found dead at the farm.
According to Galius, the estimated number of animals found dead is more than 100.
Galius also said the death of livestock was not the only challenge they faced at the farm.
“There is more to what you see here. Many of our colleagues have survived elephant attacks, and for those of us stationed at the farm, we don’t sleep.
“The employees are only paid a low income. The farm has no water. We have electricity by using generators which run out of diesel, and we are forced to walk long distances to get water. For the animals, it’s worse. They are forced to walk 60 km in searching for water.”