The Zimbabwean government has mobilised resources to minimise the effect of any African migratory locust that might come from Botswana and Namibia where its effects have been colossal.
This is following an alert received by the head of the Plant and Quarantine and Plant Protection Research Services Institute, Shingirai Nyamutukwa, that the two countries have plunged into another wave of the locust outbreak.
He said, “Yes, it’s true that Namibia and Botswana are battling another wave of locust outbreaks.
“The locusts are in all stages from nymphs to adults. We’re keeping a check on their control efforts to assess risks of invasion into Zimbabwe,” he said.
Last year, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia were plagued by these African migratory locusts but the situation was contained.
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However, the coming of heavy rains has created a favorable habitat for the pests to thrive hence forcing plant protection agencies to take precautions against any outbreak.
SADC and partner organizations like International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) were working hand in hand with these four countries to control the pest and protect the livelihood of its citizens.
In addition, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has launched the Southern Africa emergency locust response and preparedness project which is funded by FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme.
The UN agency is in partnership with SADC and IRLCO-CSA to support the affected countries and the new project will also enhance the emergency capacity to support the four affected states.
The project worth $500,000 will focus on emergency response to locust plagued areas, strengthen coordination and information exchange amongst the four countries.