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Farmer loses 20 cattle to lightning

by Staff reporter
25 Feb 2020 at 06:38hrs | Views
Midlands Provincial Public Service inspector, Mr Andrew Chimanyiwa, on Sunday lost 20 head of cattle after they were struck by lightning at his farm in Gwenhoro outside Gweru.  

This, officials have said, brings to around 50 the number of cattle killed by lightning in the province since the beginning of this month.  In an interview yesterday, Midlands Provincial Crop and Livestock officer, Mrs Madeline Magwenzi, said the incident occurred at around 1PM.

"Yes 20 cattle were struck by lightning on Sunday. Actually, the lightning bolt hit a big tree near the entrance of cattle pen. Unfortunately, the time the lightning bolt struck is the time the cattle were entering the gate of the pen. So, there is a fence passing through the struck tree to the gate," said Mrs Magwenzi.

She warned farmers against putting their cattle in kraals with wire fencing during rains.

Mrs Magwenzi said February has seen a lot of cattle being struck by lightning in the province. "Lightning bolts killing livestock is not common in the province but this February, we have had many cases reported and a lot more not having been reported.

"In Gokwe South villagers lost 10 cattle, at Whitewaters area, outside Gweru a farmer last week lost seven cattle and on Sunday Mr Chimanyiwa lost 20 cattle.  

"The figure is reaching 50 if not more and it's really sad and unpredictable as some of these farmers are losing their draught power," she said. Mrs Magwenzi said when Government was busy restocking the national herd, any loss of cattle is a blow to the exercise.

"As I said, this is not common but the rains in February have been too harsh. This is bedeviling the livestock industry which is already suffering from drought," she said.

Source - chronicle