The Ulanga District Council has announced that it won’t remove all livestock from the district, but said it would retain only a number that could be fed on available pasturelands and reserved areas.
The statement comes at a time when the district is planning to reduce the number of livestock next month in what it describes, as implementing the new Livestock and Pastureland Act.
Ulanga district council chairman Furaha Lilongili revealed the stand when opening the district’s full council meeting recently. He said the operation would target cattle grazing on reserve forests.
Lilongeli instructed councillors and leaders at the village, ward and division levels in Malinyi, Ngoheranga, Mtimbira and Lupiro to educate livestock keepers for them to comply by moving their livestock before the operation.
He instructed the leaders to ensure that they oversee the exercise by observing principles of good governance through meetings to enable the people participate in the process by airing their views on the best way to carry out the operation.
Itete ward councillor Fortunatus Malunda expressed his fears that the exercise might face a dead end, given the fact that reserve area boundaries were yet to be properly identified.
Ulanga district livestock officer Benedict Mabula said so far all reserved areas have had their boundaries temporarily identified by villagers and verified by officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Ulanga District is estimated to have over 160,000 livestock. The council targets to reduce the number to only 50,000.