#Editorial

On URR cattle farmers’ plea for water!

Feb 10, 2021, 10:36 AM

Cattle farmers in the country have longed complain about lack of water for their animals for far too long. Many a times, government and ministry concern turned deaf ears to calls and plead lodged by these farmers.

We all know the importance of water especially in ensuring nutrient for cattle. Experts believe that water accounts for 50% to 80% of an animal’s weight and is involved in every physiological process. Therefore, cattle must have free access to all the quality water they need to consume.

Because without it, feed intake greatly decreases, the animal becomes dehydrated and body functions fail.

However, due to increasing human and animal population couple with the huge demand for water, many people these days are grappling with acute water shortage and on varying magnitude.

It is in the news that farmers of Sare Gubu Basiru in Sandu District of the Upper River Region north are faced with acute water shortage to feed their animal population.

Suffice it to state here that inadequate water supply for their livestock is one of the most horrible challenges for all cattle owners in Africa. In search of water especially in the wet season sometimes lead to clashes between farmers in many developing countries and The Gambia included, even though it is reported on the small scale.

The URR community with a cattle population of approximately three thousand is one of the few areas in the country highly blessed with animals.

With only one small-tank borehole for all the livestock including goats, sheep, and cattle, it appears that this village need immediate support to save its animal life. Let’s not forget about the importance of animals in the development of any nation.

In search of water and grazing lands has forced many farmers in the area to relocate their herds of cattle to places in Nianija, Niani and Sami districts.

We call on Government on the Ministry concern to act immediate and help farmers in this area. To mitigate the challenge facing cattle owners, there is an urgent need for government to provide proper water-borne pipe to ensure sufficient water for the livestock.

Government and the ministries of Environment, Water Resources and Climate Change and Agriculture should make it a duty to construct boreholes and water point for cattle farmers in the area. This will significantly reduce the daily hardship endured by this farmer in accessing water for their herds of cattle.

Until then, these farmers would continue to cry for water to feed their animal. We should remember that any prolonged water shortage in the area may cause the death of many animals, which will certainly reduce the country animal population.

“I do not believe there was ever a life more attractive than life on a cattle farm....”

Theodore Roosevelt

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