Steinhausen fire costs Venani 94% of grazing land

Not one, but two fires broke out at Steinhausen on Sunday, which set about 10 farms ablaze, including that of parliamentarian McHenry Venaani.

05 October 2021 | Accidents

ESTER KAMATI







WINDHOEK

A fire which broke out on Sunday in Omaheke’s Steinhausen constituency gutted close to 10 farms in the area, including that of parliamentarian McHenry Venaani.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader said about 94% of his grazing land has been lost, while at least 50% of the farm’s fence infrastructure had been destroyed.

“We nearly got stuck in the fire as our fire extinguisher became faulty but we had a spare one that saved us,” he shared, adding that they were able to escape the fire on time by using the extinguisher. “We thank the heavens for the mercy. I am drained both mentally and otherwise, but God is catering for me.”

Venaani’s farm Turfan suffered damages ranging in the millions, according to him, adding that assessments are still ongoing to determine the full cost of the damage.

Livestock is also being assessed at the farm, with over 32 cattle said to be recorded missing so far.

Venaani said fires came from three directions and some of the livestock may not have been able to escape, specifically those he described as ‘weak’.

‘Shock year’

The fire is suspected to have been started by negligent farm workers.

Venaani described 2021 as a “shock year” for him, reflecting on January when over 70 cattle were slaughtered on his farm through a suspected inside job or possibly a syndicate. This was during the time the parliamentarian was recovering from Covid-19.

He added that the Namibia Special Risk Insurance Association is one which can come to the rescue of farmers during tough times like these.

He further urged citizens to take care when dealing with environmental factors.

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