(ORDO NEWS) — The Navajo Indians, the largest in the United States, are forced to reduce their livestock due to catastrophic drought and lack of water, tribal president Jonathan Nez.
“Rancho owners are forced to reduce the number of livestock, it is difficult for cattle breeders,” the source said. According to him, “the problem of water shortage is felt more and more acute every year,” despite the assistance provided by the leadership of the tribe to farmers.
The Navajo tribe covers an area of more than 70 thousand square kilometers, covering three states – Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, according to official figures, the tribe has almost 400 thousand people.
The Navajo president said the community’s water shortages are also fueled by a federally mandated water restriction from Lake Powell and the Colorado River, which feeds the San Juan River that runs through tribal territory. “There is less water for both drinking and for farms, ranches and agriculture,” laments Nez.
One of the ways to solve the problem, according to him, will be the use of bulk earthen dams. “We’re planning to start using the Navajo’s existing earth dams that are in need of repair to store rainwater brought in by the monsoon winds to help our farmers,” he says.
Thanks to the monsoon rains over the past months, the Navajos are at least getting a good harvest, he said.
“The harvest will be good, the Navajo will have something to put on the table,” the head of the flame rejoices, despite the fact that, according to him, up to 40% of the population of the tribal territory do not have running water or electricity.
“The most powerful country in the world should have water, electricity, basic infrastructure, but today in this country, 30-40% of our Navajo people do not have this, and even more do not have access to the Internet,” he notes.
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