Opinion

Drought Affects Livestock, Water Sources Drying Up

Livestock and people are suffering from the brunt of the drought that is affecting the Western division. Farmers on the Ba to Rakiraki stretch said the drought has been severe
02 Nov 2017 12:59
Drought Affects Livestock, Water Sources Drying Up
Ra cattle farmer Daniele Nainima points to one of the many dried up streams where cattle would usually drink from. Photo: Lusi Banuve

Livestock and people are suffering from the brunt of the drought that is affecting the Western division.

Farmers on the Ba to Rakiraki stretch said the drought has been severe and if it continued they would have to do some drastic readjustments.

Daniele Nainima of Ra said cattle have been dying because streams and water holes were drying up and pastures dying, dry and brittle.

“There is nothing for our cattle to eat or drink. The streams and creeks that they usually go to are no longer there. This is a disaster.” Mr Nainima said.

“All villages are facing the same problem. There is no water. We are trying to make sure that at least our children have water to drink but apart from that there is almost nothing in the tanks,” he said.

Ra Maternity Hospital staff nurse Lavenia Colati said they have not had water the past two days.

“It’s a huge problem  because we are a maternity hospital but both the tanks for the hospital are dry and the one stationed at the nurses’ quarters is close to drying up also.” staff nurse Colati said.

Ms Colati said that if someone did come they would have no choice but to refer them to either the Rakiraki Hospital or the Lautoka Sub-Divisional Hospital.

“With the water situation we are facing right now, we are lucky there is no one here,” she said.

Parish priest Father Petero Mataca said the already magnified problem was made even bigger when the dam was recently damaged.

“As we speak, some of our men folk have taken bags of cement and other stuff to fix the damage as most of us rely on the water source,” Father Mataca said.

The water source caters for Navunibitu Catholic School, St Frances Xavier College, the parish compound and the Ra Maternity Hospital.

Father Mataca said he was worried about the outbreak of diseases related to scarcity of water supply.

In an interview on Tuesday, Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau said Government was doing its best to tackle the problem.

“We are hearing the cries of the people and we are trying our best. Barges are being sent to the Yasawa islands with water and likewise trucks are being sent to the places where the needs have been aired,” Mr Tagicakibau said on Tuesday.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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