UIS – A worsening drought continues to devastate many parts of the Dauris department in the Irungo region. Due to the lack of rainfall in the affected areas, the crops dried up while the stricken farmers suffered heavy losses of livestock.
This week, New Era visited the Arixams Collective, which has suffered a severe drought. Residents described the situation as dire. Village chief Nikki Gaspe said the village of 50 had suffered heavy losses in livestock.
“The drought and lack of water in our area has reduced the number of sheep to about 100 out of the 400 that I own. The livelihood of our people here is not easy at all, but we thank the government for having at least rehabilitated our water point,” Gasbe said. He added that the community cannot own the gardens as food security due to the lack of water. Arixams common area is about 15 km from Uis. They also have a challenge with elephants, Gasp said, exposing them to potential incidents of human-wildlife conflict. He noted that “the theft of solar panels at water points is another challenge, and we as a society are busy making money to see how we will protect the facility.”
Agriculture Minister Kali Schleitwein, who is on a familiarization visit to the region, visited various water projects under construction. The Minister briefly involved some residents who will benefit from the water infrastructure projects after his visit to the rehabilitated Arikshams water point.
Chiltoin then urged the community to take an interest in the facility. The total cost of rehabilitating the water point was about NZ$150,000, and formed part of the drought relief program started by the Prime Minister’s Office three months ago.