As families in Sangli and Kolhapur pick up pieces of their lives and try to rebuild their homes after the recent floods, the reality of loss of livestock has started to surface. The farmers have started to report missing and dead animals to the administration and the numbers that have emerged so far show that damage to the milk-producing clusters of Kolhapur and Sangli is considerable.
As per the number of dead livestock reported to the Revenue department so far, a total of 7,847 cattle and bovine animals have died or been washed away during the floods in Pune Division. In addition, 1,065 sheep/goats and 166 calves and donkeys have reportedly died or been washed away. This number may significantly increase in the days to come as the administration is still trying to gather reports from the ground, said officials.
“The numbers about loss of livestock have started to trickle in now as the surveys by revenue officials to determine loss of property have commenced. Earlier, our focus was largely on rescuing those stranded in the floods and providing them relief. Since that work is not over, the administration has started surveys and distribution of ad-hoc monetary help to the affected families,” said Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.
Sangli district seems to have incurred the maximum loss in terms of livestock, with 4,359 cows and buffaloes reported dead so far. As many as 500 sheep-goats and 80 calves have also died in the district.
In Kolhapur, 3,429 cows and buffaloes, 300 sheep/goats and 50 calves have been reported dead by the farmers.
Among the farmers who lost their animals is Namdev Madale, a resident of Borban village in Sangli’s Palus taluka. Madale was reportedly the only resident who did not leave the flooded village, while almost everyone else was evacuated by rescue teams. Madale lost two milch animals to the floods.
“Two of my buffalos were washed away in the flood. We could not do anything to save them. On Saturday, local talathis came to conduct panchnamas. In our village, we lost a total of 39 animals,” said Madale.