OPUWO: The owner of most of the pigs roaming the streets of Opuwo, 72-year-old Maria Mumbanda has called on the town council and government to assist her with a plot to keep her pigs safe.
Mumbanda started farming with pigs in 1985 when Opuwo was still just a village, but is now affected by the current municipal by-laws which state that livestock wandering around town unattended would be impounded.
The impounding of all livestock in the town was scheduled for 28 September this year, but was postponed to the end of October this year.
The worried pensioner told Nampa on Friday that she has about 40 pigs, but had to take some to the Etunda village in the Omusati Region to relatives for safekeeping.
She had to fork out N.dollars 800 for fuel for two pick-up vehicles to take 24 pigs to Etunda, and now only has 16 pigs in Opuwo.
“I am going to keep these pigs in my backyard. They are my only means of survival as I don’t have a husband, besides the old-age grant. I have three kids for whom I have to pay school fees and buy food and clothes,” explained Mumbanda.
She pleaded with the town council and/or Government to provide her with a plot in this town to keep her pigs on.
“If the government or town council can just give me a fenced-off plot to keep the pigs, I can pay it off over a certain period,” she suggested.
Approached for comment, the head of the animal-impounding operation here, Abel Katjoho told this agency that the Opuwo Town Council does not have land where it can relocate people with livestock to.
“We don’t even have plots to build houses, where would we get plots for chickens or pigs?
The owners of the pigs, or whatever animals, should look for their own plots outside the town’s boundaries,” stressed Katjoho.
He noted that stray animals should have name tags with the cellphone numbers and addresses of their owners to make it easier for impounding officers to notify them when their animals had been impounded to come and pay the fines.
The penalty for a first offence does not exceed N.dollars 1 000, while for a second offence, it is no less than N.dollars 2 000 or six months’ imprisonment, or both.
Unlike goats, sheep, cattle, donkeys and horses that would be auctioned by the town council if not claimed, pigs, dogs and cats would be destroyed within seven days.