Tsetse flies in Nkhota-kota Game Reserve cause panic

Communities in Nkhota-kota, Mzimba, Salima and Ntchisi that surround Nkhotakota Game Reserve have expressed concern over rampant Tsetse flies in their areas which they say are posing a threat to human beings and animals.

The tsetse fly. Small but deadly. Photo by Marlain Services

Speaking during a meeting for the game reserve’s Joint Liaison Committee (JLC), Chief Chilooka of Ntchisi said a number of cattle in his area are showing signs of sleeping sickness (Trypanosomiasis) which is transmitted through Tsetse flies.

According to Chilooka, six cattle have already died during the past week due to the disease.

“We suspect that the tsetse flies which are coming from the game reserve are responsible for the outbreak of sleeping sickness,” said Chilooko.

He asked African Parks (AP), an organization responsible for the rehabilitation of the reserve, to help the communities by getting rid of the parasitic flies.

According to Parks Manager, Samuel Kamoto, African Parks was trying to control the situation, though acknowledged it was not easy.

“We are trying our best to find effective ways of addressing the challenge. We have put 90 Tsetse fly targets to trap the flies but elephants are pulling them down. Recently, we have identified new sites through which we believe we will trap the flies and in the same way the elephants will not tamper with the targets.

“Basically, the park would like to eliminate the Tsetse flies as soon as possible because they put tourists off. The visitors refrain from coming into the country because they are usually afraid of being infected. Our main aim is to rehabilitate the reserve so that it attracts visitors from all over the world, hence the need to sort out the Tsetse fly issue,” he said.

The meeting was attended by chiefs, District Commissioners and stakeholders from the four districts.

 

 

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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory in Austria should be approached on the eradication exercise if at all the sterile insect technique would be used to supplement the current trapping method. In the former, experts at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) should be fully involved. Sterile insect technique involves mass breeding of huge quantities of targeted insects in a laboratory where males get sterilised by experts then expose them to an overdose of radiation and later release them by air over an infected area. These do the damage on females. The proportion… Read more »

Kondwani
Guest
Kondwani

for your information, there are no Trypanosomiasis experts at LUANAR, the experts ‘re at the College of Medicine they have a highly specialized trypanosomiasis research laboratory. I think it’s high time Africa stop the syndrome of waiting for western organizations to initiate programs when we have all the expertise to do it ourselves. Why involve an organization that is in Australia when in Burkina Faso they’ve all the genetically engineered flies as well, why not just collaborate with them? ( http://www.cirdes.org)
African problem must be solved by Africans, we have all it takes to solve our problems.

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

Sad tat LUANAR does not have experts in such a field. Very likely that Burkina Faso sought help from the organ of the United Nations, FAO and IAEA in Austria NOT Australia in order to set up a laboratory. However, Malawi can turn to the one in Tanzania for a ground work. Indeed an African problem ought to be solved by Africans. But no continent is an island in such matters.

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