Farmers count losses as wildfire razes farmlands in Namibia

A wildfire has caught several farms in Okonjoka, Omitimire and Otjomunguindi of Aminuis constituency, as well as communal farms in the Omaheke region and the Nina area of Okorukambe constituency.

Farmers in the affected areas are said to be in despair as several losses were incurred as a result of the destruction melted on lands and livestock last week.

Speaking to newsmen on the extent of the damage, Aminuis Constituency Councilor, Peter Kazongominja said that about 45,000 hectares of grazing were destroyed while over 100 goats and sheep in the constituency were burnt.

According to Kazongominja, farmers were still in the process of determining the number of large livestock and infrastructure that was lost to the fire.

A farmer at Okonjama village who spoke to Namibia’s New Era, Hijambaari Kozozi said he lost 95 goats and sheep to the fire.

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“My wife and I have lost our entire livelihood. We are still in shock. We thought we were recovering well after the drought, but God has other plans for us,” he said.

“We don’t have insurance. I am estimating the value of my loss at N$270 000. I appeal to those who have suffered similar damages to contact me through the office of the councilor,” he said.

A local report also revealed that the fire at Nina caused extensive damage to about 12 farms in the area.

The report stated that an entire farm was burnt to the ground with farmers losing up to half of their pasture.

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On his part, Chairperson of the Namibian Charcoal Association’s Michael Dege revealed that he alongside his workers help put out the fire.

”At this point, it doesn’t seem to be a runaway fire. The wind changes short-short of direction and just as we are afraid, we see that the fire can extinguish itself this way possible.

“It’s great to see how the people on the scene know what they are doing,” Dege added.

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