In a challenging turn of events, hundreds of Namibian communal farmers find themselves facing a battle on multiple fronts as they strive to secure pastures for their herds. Traditionally, these farmers have ventured across the border into Angola during specific seasons, seeking grazing lands to sustain their livestock.
However, a recent clampdown by Angola on illegal cattle herders within its borders has left these farmers in a precarious situation, according to reports from Voice of America. This situation unfolds against the backdrop of an already formidable challenge: climate-related difficulties. Prolonged drought conditions have cast a shadow over the livelihoods of cattle farmers in the region.
The erratic patterns of rainfall, coupled with substantial vegetation losses, have made it increasingly tough for these farmers to maintain their herds. As a result, some have been compelled to sell their livestock, their primary source of income, while others have resorted to desperate measures. In a bid to prevent their cows from succumbing to the harsh impacts of drought, some farmers have taken to feeding them cardboard, underscoring the dire circumstances they face.
This complex interplay of factors places the communal farmers in an arduous situation. The need to navigate not only climate-related challenges but also border restrictions, as they are asked to apply for permits to continue grazing their livestock in Angola, further underscores the complexity of their struggle. The lives and livelihoods of these farmers are at stake, and their resilience in the face of such adversity is a testament to their enduring spirit.