Thousands of cattle die in Tanzania; does this portend a future famine?

A masaai lady standing next to her cattle in Tanzania Photo: Courtesy

According to a report released by Mwananchi Newspaper, 62,593 animals have perished in the Simanjiro district of the Manyara region in Tanzania as a result of a shortage of water and grazing after a drought that has affected various villages in the province, possibly pushing thousands of Tanzanians into poverty.

Sendeu Laizer, Vice Chairman of Simanjiro District Council, made the statements during a council meeting on January 13.
The deceased animals were identified by Sendeu as 35,746 cows, 15,136 sheep, 10,033 goats, and 1,670 donkeys.
He said that cattle conditions in several sections of Simanjiro were bad during this time period owing to a shortage of water and pasture. He said that animal mortality caused by the drought were being monitored and collected in all communities.

“As a result of this circumstance, some animals have died and many pastoralists have moved and accumulated in a few regions with water and grass,” Sendeu said.

According to Simanjiro constituency MP Christopher Ole Sendeka, several villages have slipped into poverty as a consequence of the drought owing to the demise of their cattle. According to Ole Sendeka, owing to the country’s drought, some pastoralists have relocated their animals to neighbouring countries for grazing.

In another development, Taiko Kurian, ward councillor for Naisinyai, has asked the government to let animals graze within the Tanzanite mining wall.

“Cattle is a bank of pastoralist communities, and now that it is dying of drought, it creates an issue,” Taiko said. “We are requesting that the government allow livestock to enter the Tanzanite mineral wall since it will not interrupt the mining operations.”

Authorities in Dar-es-Salaam announced a water crisis and started rationing across Tanzania’s biggest city, home to more than six million people, in early November of last year, according to a report published by Aljazeera.

While mid-October is traditionally linked with the commencement of the brief rains, Tanzania has instead witnessed record high temperatures and scant rainfall — all of which are related to climate change. Temperatures in Dar-es-Salam hit 33.8 degrees Celsius (92.84 degrees Fahrenheit), up 2.2 degrees Celsius (4 degrees Fahrenheit) over the November average.

As a consequence, the Ruvu River, the city’s principal supply of water, has reached dangerously low levels, leaving Dar-es-Salaam with a water shortfall of approximately 100 million litres (26.5 million gallons).


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