Drought: Farmer commits suicide a day before rain falls

2016-01-01 17:59
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Bloemfontein – For Eastern Cape farmer Krisjan Kruger, 34, the consequences of the drought had simply become too much.

Faced with the possibility that he could lose everything, he took his own life on Tuesday, a close friend said. Kruger leaves behind his mother.

A friend, Jacques Roodt, told News24 that Kruger had been severely affected by the drought.

"We are currently experiencing the worst drought... in years and it was hard for him to wake up and see his dry land. He lived and gave his life for this land and he eventually crashed," said Roodt.

Kruger was a commercial cattle farmer.

Roodt said he had spoken to him the night before the suicide.

"We spoke on Monday evening and he was just in a bad space, but I thought he was fine because he motivated me a lot and told me that we will eventually receive rain.

"If only he had waited a bit, because a day later it rained," he said.

Water and animal feed were scarce in the area and many farmers were suffering, he said.

Kruger will be buried on Monday.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page called Boere in Nood (Farmers in Need) has been set up.

Free State businessman NC Schoombee, who is the founder of the page, said he was saddened to hear of the suicide.

Schoombee told News24 that so far they had provided animal feed to more than 245 farmers across the country and received more than 1 000 requests for help.

He started the group when he came across dead and ill livestock on a farm.

They had so far received generous donations from the public, including people in foreign countries.

Read more on:    bloemfointein

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