Abdoulie G. Dibba
Cattle owners in the Illiassa District in the North Bank Region of the Gambia have said that cattle rearing in their area have become a big challenge due to the lack of watering points for the roaming herds.
Momodou Bah, a herder, said water is one of the major problems they are facing with their animals which compel them to leave their village and trek long distances to other areas in search of drinking points.
He said the wells they have there are deep and that one has to use a horse to draw water from some of them.
“It is not easy to use a horse to draw water from a well that is fifty metres or more deep and those without it have to do it using their hands,” he said.
This was confirmed by Ebou Jallow, another herder, who added that the taxes that are collected from them should be utilized to build watering points for their animals.
He also revealed that the lack of fodder or grass to feed their cattle is another challenge. “Apart from the dry season that we are in, the situation is aggravated by the rampant bush fires that ravage the vegetation,” he said.
Mr. Jallow said the incidence of diseases in the face of expensive drugs or vaccines is also a problem to some of them.
According to the National Agricultural Survey study of 2014, the total number of Ndama Cattle in North Bank Region was 72,009 and Non Ndama Cattle was 31,755, thus giving a total cattle population of 103,764 in North Bank Region.
FOROYAA will contact the Livestock Department to enquire about the tax per head being paid by cattle owners.