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DROUGHT – BLAME IT ON THE ASPARAGUS FARM

By: Helen Andreas

Some Omusati region residents have called for the closedown of the Asparagus farm at Uuhongo village near Etunda in the Onesi constituency.

The asparagus farm has been operating since 2018. According to the community, the Asparagus farm is why there has been no rainfall for the past three years.

The community alleges that the installation of weather metre devices has been a stumbling block to rainfall. 

According to them, these devices disturb the rainfall pattern.

In a petition they handed over to the Uukolonkadhi traditional authority last week, the residents demanded the shut down of the Asparagus farm to allow rain to fall and for them to be able to produce food.

They also questioned the traditional authority whether or not they did proper research before allowing the plantation of Asparagus in the area.

They further expressed their concern about how rainfall starts late in the area.

“We used to start ploughing by October, but now the rain comes late,” they said.

The petition further reads that the promise to receive fodder for animals from the Asparagus farm is a benefit enjoyed by a few who have transport to collect the fodder. 

“Not everyone can go and collect this fodder for animals,” they said.

“We call for this farm to close by 13h00 on Friday, February 18, and the office to close on Saturday, February 19,” they say.

Generosa Amukwa, the former councillor of Anamulenge constituency and the committee’s chairperson organizing the demonstration, told Eagle FM that even though the officials from the farm explained to the community how those devices were installed,,, at the farm work, they still not find peace in the explanation.

Amukwa further calls for a scientific explanation as to why is there no rainfall in the area.

One of the senior leaders in the Uukolonkadhi traditional authority, David Nandiinotya, denied any knowledge of a device preventing rainfall in the area:” ” The farm officials visited our traditional authority office. We asked them about the devices preventing rainfall. They told us that the devices they are having are whether metres, they do not prevent rainfall.” ” he added.

However, the former Chairperson of Olushandja, Silvanus Naunyango, told Eagle FM that the residents needed to have correct information about the devices before demonstrating.

“These devices are whether metres, they do not prevent rainfall; if there is something preventing rainfall, let it be investigated, and the findings are brought forth for everyone to know,” he said.

Onesi constituency councillor also told Eagle FM that when the community was called to go and point out the devices they allege to be preventing rainfall in the area, some members withdrew from the demonstration.

The councillor further said there was heavy rainfall last week, and they even walked in water on the way to the farm.

“People should understand the changes in rainfall pattern. It is climate change; there has been draught even before the Asparagus farm,” he said.

Julia Heita

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