‘130bn/- for water infrastructure, dams to address livestock deaths’

17Jan 2022
The Guardian
‘130bn/- for water infrastructure, dams to address livestock deaths’

THE government has provided 130bn/- for construction of water infrastructure and rehabilitation of dams in Kiteto district, Manyara region following mass deaths of livestock caused by deepening drought.

Deputy minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega.

The decision came just a week after authorities reported the deaths of 1,874 cattle in Kiteto District that were caused by drought. 

Speaking yesterday during his tour in the district, deputy minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega said the government immediately responded on the matter to ensure no more cattle continue to die over lack of water.

Ulega’s visit in the district was meant to inspect the available water infrastructures for livestock as well as talking to pastoralists who have lost their animals.

“The government is aware of the drought situation in Kiteto; I am here to inform you on the various measures we have taken to save your cattle and make sure they have access to water even during dry seasons. President Samia Suluhu Hassan has provided funds for construction of water wells and rehabilitation of dams,” said the deputy minister.

He added the district water engineer and livestock officers to immediately identify areas for construction of the infrastructures for the project to be implemented.

Ulega urged farmers to adopt sustainable ways of using pasture instead of decimating one area and moving to another. He advised them to start planting warm-season grasses and consider saving some of that hay in case of drought.

A pastoralist, James Laizer from Makame area said the deepening drought has killed thousands of cattle because apart from water, farmers do not have grasses to feed their cattle.

“The deaths of our animals have affected most of us economically because we solely depend on our cattle to raise income,” said Laizer.

Grace Melau is a livestock keeper in Kiteto District; she said that this year’s prolonged drought has resulted in a big loss due to cattle deaths. She said it will take long for individuals and families to recover from the economic crisis associated with lack of water and animal feed.

Last week, a total of 62,585 animals were killed by prolonged drought in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region.

Out of the 62,585 killed animals, 35,746 were cattle, 15,136 sheep, 10,033 goats and 1,670 donkeys.

Sendeu Laizer, vice-chairman of the Simanjiro district council, told a meeting of councilors in the district that the drought situation in the district was alarming.

He said livestock officials are continuing to assess the number of animals killed by drought in all the district's villages.

Simanjiro Member of Parliament, Christopher Ole Sendeka, said the drought has forced some livestock keepers to graze their animals in neighbouring countries.