North West District Council (NWDC) councilors have raised fears about the possible return of the cattle lung disease due to the failure by the Department Veterinary Services (DVS) to maintain the cordon fence alongside Namibian border. The deadly cattle disease ravaged the area in 1995, leading to the killing of the entire cattle stock in the district. The councilors raised these concerns during the NWDC full session last week. Councilor for Sepopa/Ikoga Botshelo Mapa complained that cattle from Botswana were finding it easy to cross to Namibian side because cordon fence has collapsed. Mapa warned that the lung disease would re-emerge if nothing was done to stop cattle from both countries from mixing at will. “This disease had huge repercussions on the entire district and we don’t want this to repeat again,” he decried. Mapa also complained that the DVS has failed the Okavango sub district because there is always shortage of transport for veterinary officers and lambasted government ignoring the bad state of Ikoga gate which separates Ngami and Okavango. Mapa regretted that the government can purchase expensive jets that cost billions while it failing to maintain the buffalo and cordon fence.
Another councilor for Kauxwi/Xakao, Television France also complained that DVS has failed to maintain the cordon fence. France also decried that when Botswana cattle crossed to Namibia the DVS kills them and compensate farmers with P700. The compensation amount is very small and farmers get punished for nothing as DVS is the ones that fail to maintain the fence, he said. He also said although he understands that the Kavango region in the Namibian side is a red zone just like Ngamiland their government doesn’t kill the cattle that crossed to Botswana as they treat them and take them back to their owners. France pleaded with the government to pay farmers 100 percent compensation. When responding, the chairman of NWDC Duncan Enga said the restriction measures were put in place after the Namibia cattle incursion in the country. He said the first round of surveillance has been done and the second phase has begun with no threats detected.