A total of 3 829 livestock, including cows, sheep and goats, have died as a result of drought in the Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, in eastern Tanzania, local media reports said this week.
Tanzania, an impoverished Eastern Africa of 50 million people, has witnessed six major droughts in the last 30 years, analysts said. The disturbing trend is said to have generated the spread of disease, the threat to power generation caused by water shortage, and a major food crisis as a result of crop failure.
Desperate cattle herders of the Parakuya village, including the Masai people, are said to be devastated by the death of their cattle – their only source of income.
Therefore, they recently sent a request to the government to let their remaining animals graze in the nearby Mkumi National Park, Dar es Salaam-based Guardian newspaper said on Tuesday.
But their request was turned down by Regional Commissioner (RC) Evariste Ndlidlo, who said that the move would be against the law. The RC advised the herders to seek other alternatives, the daily newspaper said.
In Parakuya, an underdeveloped area of 30 830 square kilometres grappling with high levels of unemployment, cattle herding seems to be the only way of making a living. According to statistics cited by the Guardian, the village has 50 808 residents, with 61 574 cattle, including 1 081 goats and 7 654 sheep.
Photo: Incidents of cattle killed by drought seem to have increased recently in East Africa. Credit: Abel Mosingisi