For the first time in decades, villagers from Waterberg in Limpopo are experiencing the effects of climate change and the impact it has on every day life.
Folks from Bokwidi village in the province’s main livestock-farming area are being forced to dig for their water in a dried-up river bed as the Mogalakwena River has run dry over the last three months. The villagers rely on the river’s water for their livestock as well as themselves.
In all the time the villagers have made a living on the banks of the river there’s never been a shortage of water for them or their cattle, but if these conditions continue for much longer there won’t be much a living to be made.
“We decided to dig in the river where we can see fresh mud. That is the only way to keep our livestock alive,” Frans Sebetha, secretary of local farmers’ association, told News24.
A local farmer, William Mokoka, said that he’s never see the river without water.
“This river never dried up since I was born, but now is there is no river here. If you look it’s a bush,” said 73 year-old Mokoka.
Farmers from the village are having to dig out makeshift dams in the river, but the situation is far from ideal as livestock can easily get stuck in the mud so need constant supervision.
News24 reports that the farmers intend on petitioning the local Mogalakwena municipality for water and, even though the distribution of drought aid is under way, there doesn’t seem to be a quick-fix for the villager’s situation.