Pastoralists in Yobe State are presently going through hard times as a deadly grass known as ‘bombriho’ in local dialect is reportedly killing their animals.
The state chairman, Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, Lamido Manu Bonguwa disclosed this to Daily Trust on phone Monday. He said the grass, destroys other nutritive grasses in many areas suitable for their livestock grazing with detrimental effects.
“I personally lost over 50 cattle before we discovered the deadly grass. It became strange that whenever the animals feed on the grass, their stomach will get swollen and they will die hours later.
“Any time we cut open the dead animal’s stomach, we found out that the grass’ thorny seeds usually gets swollen inside the animal’s stomach and perforated it. It quickly kills the animal,” he said.
He said their investigations have shown that the grass was dispersed through the faeces of herds that came from Niger Republic and settled in Jakusko Nasri grazing reserve, and has now spread across Nangere, Potiskum and Fune local government areas.
“You will also find it everywhere in Yobe grazing reserves. Government should react to this incident because of the detrimental effects on the livelihood of the herders and farmers alike,” he said.
He said the grass, which was alien to them, has now taken over farmlands and grazing areas. He said the grass is stubborn and drought resistance, adding that urgent steps must be taken to tackle its spread.
He commended Yobe State government for its support to pastoralists in the state, especially on free animals’ feeds, drugs, deworming, and routine immunization.
“Recently, the state governor has distributed N184 million meal offal, salt lick and compounded animal feeds free to herders in the state. This, has in no small measure, reduced the suffering of our livestock within the period.
“The government has also built earth dams and boreholes strategically to prevent farmers/herders clash, apart from the cattle routes it gazetted,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction from the state government as at the time of filing this report