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Traffic jammed at FMD checkpoints

Traffic jammed at FMD checkpoints

Niël Terblanché

 

ALMOST half of Namibia’s migrant workforce are stuck at control points on the animal disease control line as strict measures to curb the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) from Kunene to Kavango are enforced.

 

Many businesses and public institutions are all set to re-open after the holiday season and people returning from annual leave are impacted by the delays.

 

The same scenario was repeated at the Werda/Otjivasandu, Tsintsabis, and Mururani checkpoints.

 

Many of the travellers made an early start to reach their destinations south before the countrywide curfew starts at 21:00.

 

 

Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, along with the Namibian Police, are carefully checking vehicles for meat and other animal products.

 

The stringent measures are aimed at curbing the spread of FMD south of the so-called redline since the outbreak of the virus among animals was detected in the Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati, and Kunene regions.

 

All the areas where FMD was detected have been declared as disease management areas and strict control measures have been instituted.

 

The measures include a complete restriction on the movement of all live cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and wildlife within and out of the affected areas.

 

It also prohibits the transport of meat or other animal products.

 

Despite the traffic jam, vehicles were moving at a rate of about 730 per hour past the checkpoint.

 

Motorists were reminded that widespread thunderstorms are likely to occur over large parts of Namibia and that visibility on the road might be poor at times.

 

They were also urged to drive cautiously to avoid motor vehicle accidents and the unnecessary loss of life.

 

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