PANIC-STRICKEN subsistence farmers are battling swarms of locusts that arrived in the Okaku and Ongwediva constituencies of the Oshana Region Sunday afternoon, reaching the neighbouring constituencies of Okanana, Oshakati East and Oshakati West on Monday.
Constituency councillors, the police and ministry of agriculture officials, are all over the airwaves advising members of the public about what to do to protect their mahangu fields.
At Oshakati and Ongwediva, curious town-dwellers were seen standing in small groups looking at the insects in amusement and taking pictures, while playful children attempted to catch the insects for fun.
But the subsistence farmers in the surrounding villages were more concerned about their crops.
They made all possible attempts to protect their crops using anything that could produce a noisy sound or simply kept running in their fields while screaming.
They also made fires, using mostly old tyres, to chase away the crop-eating insects.
Their efforts appear to have borne fruit.
No serious damage to crops was reported so far, except one mahangu field near Ongwediva where the locusts “overnighted”.
For many, it is an experience of a lifetime as locusts are not common in that part of the country.
Pictures and video footage: Placido Hilukilwa