The animals are dying‚ the dams have dried up - worst drought in 30 years grips Eastern Cape villages

The worst drought seen in 30 years is gripping 15 villages in the Eastern Cape where animals are dying in numbers and dams have dried up with cracks as deep as 60cm.

The crisis is unfolding less than 50km from the province’s capital‚ Bhisho.

Residents say more than 50 cattle have died in 10 villages in the last three months from starvation and dehydration.

Tamarha administrative area appears lifeless‚ with dry‚ brittle grass covering a landscape that at this time of year is normally green.

Livestock numbers from many villages have dwindled as they die because of dry grass and lack of dam or river water.

In some areas‚ taps have also run dry‚ with some municipalities calling on residents to use water sparingly.

Zolile Qaza from the traditional council in Shushu village in the Tamarha administrative area said in just one village‚ nearly 30 cattle had died.

“In November alone we lost 27 livestock due to drought. In other homes more than five cattle have died‚ leaving owners miserable.

“Water is becoming a scarce commodity and we really don’t know where to get help‚” said Qaza.

In Tamarha‚ villagers from Kalana‚ Qawukeni‚ Shushu A‚ Shushu B‚ Tamarha location and Mabhongo village have been hardest hit.

Lunga Macala said his family had lost close to 10 cattle due to lack of rain.

“It’s painful to lose your prized livestock because of this drought. We have lost our cattle and there’s been no relief. Rain is scarce and grass is very dry‚” said Macala.

Read the full story in the Daily Dispatch

- TMG Digital/DispatchLIVE


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