Second Wave of Migratory Locusts Outbreak More Severe Than the First

The 2nd wave outbreak of the Reed Migratory Locust that is currently plaguing the country is more severe than the first, the Agriculture Minister, Calle Schlettwein announced on Wednesday.

“The outbreak this time is of mainly swarming locusts and is occurring in northern- central and eastern Namibia moving southwards. The most elective method of control under current circumstances is aerial spraying,” the minister said.

According to Schlettwein, the ministry has ordered the biological pesticide, which is environmentally acceptable and approved for areal application.

“It is however in high demand by several African countries where severe outbreaks of locusts are currently experienced. European suppliers have informed that they can deliver in six (6) months only, and the only African supplier in Morocco equally struggles to meet the demand. We have roped in the assistance of development partners and the FAO to acquire appropriate pesticides and equipment to strengthen our efficiency in controlling the outbreak,” he said.

In the meantime, Schlettwein said Namibia has resorted to control measures administered from the ground (vehicle-mounted sprayers and knapsack sprayers) in the most severely hit areas.

“For this, we have enlisted the support of the Namibia Defense Forces and National Youth Service to bolster our manpower capacity on the ground. Training logistical arrangement, and procurement of additional equipment, and PPEs is underway in our bid to ensure that this critical personnel join our teams in the shortest time possible. We appeal to communities and all stakeholders to assist with combating this severe outbreak,” he concluded.

Source: Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

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