By Nkosana Sikhosana
Villagers in Ward 5 in Tsholotsho have bemoaned lack of grazing lands as animals such as cattle have resorted to eating thatching grass off their roofs.
One of the community members, Sibongile Silundu said they are no sleeping peacefully as the hungry animals pull and chew their roofs all night.
“In Ward 5 we have a problem and we are tired of animals that eat off grass from our roofs. We are no longer sleeping peacefully at night because we have to constantly chase away these animals fearing that they might eat away a greater part of the roof at such a time where there is nowhere to get the grass for thatching. Moreover, if we do not chase away these animals we might end up sleeping in the open and with the rainy season upon us, it will be tough. When we try to talk to these boys who herd cattle they tell us that there is nothing that they can do because there is no grazing land for the animals. As a widow I do not have the strength and capacity to deal with these disrespectful herdboys,” said Silundu.
Meanwhile villagers have another challenge to deal with as wild animals attack their livestock.
A community member, Ndabezinhle Ngwenya said that as a result of the drought, animals are no longer sleeping in their shelters so that they eat at night. This has attracted attacks from wild animals.
“In ward 5 villagers are losing their livestock to hyenas and wild dogs during the night because animals are left to graze at night. There are two Safari areas IMvelo and Wilderness where animals are escaping because of dearth of grazing lands and water. When these animals escape in search of food and water they end up attacking our animals. We normally call officials from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority to assist, and they do come through most of the times and they let us have the meat if it is an animal such as an elephant that they would have taken down”, said Ngwenya.