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» » » » » Shortage of pastures takes toll on Bikita cattle

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Upenyu Chaota

- The EL NINO induced drought which has hit the country has had a devastating effect on livestock particularly in Masvingo's Chivi and Mwenezi areas but Bikita has become the recent area where cattle are dropping dead due to hunger and excessive heat, while some get trapped in muddy rivers trying to scavenge the remaining water ponds.
Villagers pin their hopes on the impending rainy season so it can fall and breathe some life into the plain grazing lands.
Chief Ziki told TellZim News that they have heard many reports of cattle dropping dead and some getting trapped in muddy pools while trying to get a sip of water, a situation he says was not common in Bikita.
"Bikita is affected by drought but we have never had a situation where our livestock just drops dead because of hunger. We used to read about it in the newspapers happening in other areas like Chivi and Mwenezi but now it has come to our kraals.
"Beause most rivers are drying up and only small ponds are left, we have heard situations where cattle get trapped in muddy pools and fail to come out because they are too weak," said Chief Ziki.
He added that the government has to intervene and make sure that they bring stock feeds at affordable prices to the people.
"We have never had such thin cattle in Bikita. We plead with the government to come and rescue our villagers from making huge losses. If only they could provide us with stock feeds at affordable prices so that we can buy and feed our cattle," said Chief

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