The Deputy Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Kefentse Motshegwa, has said that the Ministry of Agriculture is constructing a 241 kilometre fence in Ngamiland in a bid to control spillage of foot and mouth into the whole district.
He said currently the first phase of the fence stands at 72 kilometres and construction is continuing.
Motshegwa said that in addition to protecting the rest of the country’s beef industry from spillage of disease from the north of the country, it will facilitate the unlocking of considerable wealth of livestock from Ngamiland as more livestock from the area will become marketable.
Further to that, he said the erection of the fence will afford the Department more time and resources to focus its efforts on more problematic areas around the Okavango Delta and other areas north of the country.
On the current state of the disease in Ngamiland, Motshegwa said that the latest outbreak of the disease was in Nokaneng area in early August.
On why there has been a re-occurrence of the disease in Ngamiland, he said that the problem was, amongst other things, caused by uncontrolled movement of cattle, adding that this problem can be solved by the department and farmers putting more efforts into vaccination of cattle.
He pointed out that the other problem leading to a re-occurrence of the disease was the unprecedented flooding of the Okavango Delta and rejuvenation of its many tributaries, which has made access to some areas difficult. He said that farmers in the affected areas should be more vigilant and should even consider moving their livestock from inaccessible and high risk areas.
The re-occurrence of FMD in Ngamiland has rendered its residents to be poor because they cannot sell their livestock. This recently led to a high powered government delegation, led by President Ian Khama, to visit the district to discuss ways of solving the district’s perennial problem.