12 Jul 19 Communities News South Africa

Wind farm provides drought relief for farmers

Bosemanland farmers have been thrown a lifeline with relief support from Kangnas Wind Farm
Kangnas is due to become operational in early 2020

Northern Cape farmers have found an ally in their fight to survive a devastating drought, with the Kangnas Wind Farm project stepping in to help shore-up their fodder supplies.

Local sheep and cattle farmers have been struggling to feed their herds for the past five years, during which time the average rainfall in the Springbok area has dramatically dried up from around 100mm to just 30mm a year.

Nearing breaking point, many have had to sell off their livestock to survive – a development that is starting to impact on food supplies to the broader community.

In a bid to alleviate the crisis, the wind farm team is now providing relief to the neighbouring Boesmanland Farmers Union, some of whose 34 members have been trying to establish themselves in the sector.

Cheryl Persensie, Economic Development Manager for Kangnas Wind Farm, explained: “With the massive decrease in the rainfall, farmers are suffering as they need to buy feed for their livestock and this is crippling them financially.

“These farmers are faced with the prospect of losing their livelihoods, as they aren’t able to afford to feed their livestock and this, in turn, will affect the region’s food security.”.

It is hoped that improved rainfall this year will result in natural feed by spring this year.

The 140 MW capacity Kangnas Wind Farm is scheduled to begin supplying clean energy to the South African grid early next year.