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NDF spray plane combats locust outbreak

2020-10-13  Albertina Nakale

NDF spray plane combats locust outbreak
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A Namibian Defence Force (NDF) aircraft that was deployed to the Zambezi region started the aerial spraying of locusts on Sunday in an effort to combat the outbreak that has destroyed large acres of grazing land. 
NDF spokesperson Petrus Shilumbu yesterday said the aerial spraying with the Y-12 aircraft was successful and many locusts were killed by the end of Sunday. 

He added the plane began the spraying at Itomba village. 
“The team is still on the ground. They are accessing the situation,” Shilumbu maintained. 
The locust swarm was reported on 12 August 2020, notably at Muzi, Namiyundu, Ivilivizi, Lusese, Ihaha, Nakabolelwa, Masikili, Malindi, Ibbu, Ngala, Muyako, Mahundu, Machita, Kikiya, Kanono, Muketela, Linyanti, Chinchimani and Kapani areas. 

The NDF is joined by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Namibia (Unam) as well agriculture officials in the spraying exercise. 
Aerial spraying seems to be the tactical choice to contain the migration of the swarm inland. 
Unam scientists have determined a pattern of migration and feed this information to the air force for finding and spraying the pests. 

Shilumbu said farmers have since relocated their livestock out of the areas that were sprayed. The same procedure will be applied to other villages to be treated.

He stated that as a defence force during peacetime their secondary role is to assist civil power and local authorities in domestic support operations when required, such as the locust outbreak.
Other strategies in containing the swarm have been hot spot tracking, which is a method of determining the migratory behaviour of the locusts, and then trapping them at night while they sleep to harvest them and use as fodder for fish and chickens.

2020-10-13  Albertina Nakale

Tags: Zambezi
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