Dry spell threatens to kill thousands of livestock in Tanzania

Over 5,000 cattle in Mwanga district have died. PHOTO | JANETH JOSEPH | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Speaking during his tour in Simanjiro two days ago, Tanzania’s deputy minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Mr Abdallah Ulega, said the government was aware about the ongoing deaths of livestock and they are taking steps to contain the situation.

Pastoral communities in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania are calling for government intervention amid reports that drought has caused deaths of over 60,000 livestock in the country’s northern region.

They want to be allowed to use pastures in the buffer zone areas.

During his visit in the Mwanga and Same districts in Kilimanjaro, the national chairman of pastoralists association, Mr Jeremiah Wambura, said they would write to Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassimu Majaliwa about the issue.

“I will write to the Prime Minister as well as to the ministries of Natural Resources and Tourism and that of Livestock and Fisheries Development to tell them about the situation,” he said.

“Immediate action is needed to save the remaining animals. Nearly 900 livestock have died in Pangaroo Village alone. Over 5,000 cattle in Mwanga have died, in Kiteto, about 30, 000 cattle and 30,000 goats and sheep have died. It is a disaster,” added Wambura.

He suggested a temporary mechanism that can be implemented to allow pastoralists feed their animals from the buffer zones.

Buffer zones are areas created to enhance the protection of a conservation area, often peripheral to it, inside or outside.

Speaking during his tour in Simanjiro two days ago, Tanzania’s deputy minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Mr Abdallah Ulega, said the government was aware about the ongoing deaths of livestock and they are taking steps to contain the situation.

He said the government has allocated TSh130 billion for the construction of livestock sector’s infrastructure.

“After my visit here, all executive officers have been directed and tasked with assessing and identifying which water dam needs renovation and how much is needed as well as where we need to build new dams,” he said.

One of the pastoralists, Mr Mussa Laizer said they feared losing all their livestock due to the drought as the available water was competed for among livestock, wildlife and humans who live there.

“I ask our dear President to see through this matter as not only cattle; there are people who also died of hypertension seeing their animals dying,” said Laizer.

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