Plans Set For Construction Of An Abattoir In Eretsha

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Eretsha’s Ipopeng farmers cluster together with the Village’s Development Committee (VDC) have proposed for the construction of an abattoir in the village to avoid prohibitive costs of transporting their cattle for slaughter in other areas.

The project will be done through the help of Communities Living Amongst Wildlife Sustainably (CLAWS), a non-profit conservancy organisation that partners with communities to find sustainable and lasting solutions to human-wildlife conflict, for the benefit of people, wildlife and society. Ipopeng Cluster is a group of farmers in Eretsha who were brought together by the conservancy organisation to help them take proper care for their cattle.

In an interview, the cluster’s chairperson, Monnaaleso Sanga noted that things have started taking shape at the site with debushing and fencing having commenced last month and expected to be completed before end of September.

 “Though it will take long to realise this but our main vision is to see an abattoir fully operational to help our farmers in the entire Okavango region to avoid prohibitive cost of farmers transporting their cattle for slaughter at the Maun abattoir,” he said.

According to Sanga, Eretsha village alone has more than 5000 cattle therefore an abattoir will be of great benefit to the famers.  The chairperson said they are currently awaiting the board to meet later this month to map a way forward regarding the project.

Meanwhile, CLAWS project coordinator and Administrator Catja Orford confirmed that the proposed abattoir project is currently awaiting a feasibility study and funds to be raised.

She noted that as of now, they are planning to start a slaughter slab but not a full abattoir because of the low throughput of animals in the area.  Orford explained that the slaughter slab will equally help farmers avoid prohibitive cost of transporting cattle for slaughter in Maun which is estimated to be around P1000 per animal.  She lamented that owing to this challenges farmers end up running at a loss.

“A slaughter slab closer to them means better animal welfare and less cost to farmers as well as cheaper to transport carcass than live animals or send it to lodges directly, at a premium for wildlife friendly beef,” she added

Orford revealed that they have already acquired funding for office containers and fence from a French company known as ProSuli at a tune of P360 000 through the help of the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute.

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