THE Government has allocated N$20 million for the control and combating of the devastating invasion of migratory locusts, which is being experienced in the country since the beginning of this year.
Director of Agriculture Production, Extension, and Engineering Services in the agriculture ministry, Mildred Kambinda disclosed this whilst addressing a meeting in Oshakati on the brown locust invasion in the central northern regions.
Kambinda stated that Zambezi Region has been identified as the hotspot for the locust outbreak and further named Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, and Oshana as most affected regions.
She revealed that //Karas Region and a part of the Hardap Region are less seriously affected. According to her, that is due to the fact that the //Karas and Hardap regions are being invaded by large swarms of less destructive and smaller desert locusts.
Kambinda noted that the locust invasion has devastated many countries in the subregion where it caused a negative impact on food security and nutrition. Angola, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa are some of the southern African countries that have experienced devastating locust invasions. She said Namibia is no exception.
She also explained that the locust outbreak is a result of climate change.
“We arrived in the North on Monday for locust scouting and were joined by the local spraying team at Ekamba this morning to also do an assessment,” Kambinda said.
Moreover, Kambinda advised members of the community not to scare away the locusts experienced in their localities, but rather report them to the Ministry’s officials or to the offices of the various regional councils.
According to her, the Ministry has enough spraying teams and materials in the regions.
Speaking during the same media briefing, the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) representative in Namibia, Farayi Zimudzi pledged the organisation’s continuous support to the government in the combating of the locusts in the country.
Zimudzi in the same vein stated that FAO has availed N$7 million that would assist in combating Namibia’s combating the locust invasion.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform’s acting deputy director in the Oshana Region, Oswald Mwanyangapo told the people gathered at the briefing that the Oshana Region encountered invasion of locusts since Sunday.
He noted the local farmers started protecting their crop fields and grazing land by beating drums and making noise with anything while burning old tyres to scare the insects away. Their actions caused the locusts to move away and in the end, only six crop fields in the region were damaged.
Kambinda and her team will travel to the Omusati Region next and later to the two Kavango regions and Zambezi Region to further assess the situation on the ground.