Windhoek – A second wave of red migratory locusts (RML) has hit Namibia, the country’s Agricultural Minister announced on March 17.
Minister Carl Schlettwein said the second wave was more severe than the first, with the outbreak largely concentrated northern, central and eastern Namibia, and moving southwards.
He added that the most effective method of control under the present circumstances was aerial spraying, and the ministry had already ordered pesticides.
The pesticides are on high demand in other Southern African countries, such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which are contending with their own locust invasions.
European suppliers, said Minister Schlettwein, said they would only deliver supplies in six months, while the only African supplier in Morocco is equally struggling to meet demand.
Namibia has sought assistance of development partners and the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation to secure the pesticides and related equipment.
“In the meantime we have resorted to control measures administered from the ground in the most severely hit areas. For this we have enlisted the support of the NDF (Namibia Defence Forces) and National Youth Service to bolster our manpower capacity on the ground.
“Training logistical arrangement, and procurement of additional equipment, and PPEs is underway in our bid to ensure that these critical personnel join our teams in the shortest time possible. We appeal to communities and all stakeholders to assist with combating this severe outbreak,” Minister Schlettwein said.
The first RML wave was reported in Southern Africa in February 2020.