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From : Herald.co.zw
By : Senior Agriculture Reporter
10 August 2012
THE Department of Veterinary Services has started dry-season ground spraying of tsetse fly in Omay and Mola communal lands in Kariba District.
Acting principal director of the department, Mr William Shereni, on Wednesday said the exercise would cover 1 000 square kilometres.
It is expected to run until October just before the onset of the rainy season.
Dry season spraying programmes normally run from July to October every year.
“We have started anti-tsetse ground spraying operations based on the application of the pesticide pyrethroid, which is applied to tsetse resting and refuge sites such as trees and tall grass. The pesticide is effective in the dry season since tsetse flies drop larvae and not eggs that go into the soil and stay in pupa form before emerging as flies a month or so later.
“The pesticide kills the emerging flies on contact,” explained Mr Shereni.
He said spraying teams were already on the ground and were working at Chakamera near Sengwa River. This area, said Mr Shereni, lies to the southern edge of the tsetse belt and stretches in the direction of Lake Kariba.
“The current exercise is part of the Progressive Tsetse Eradication Programme in which we used to rely on barrier targets. There are people already settled in the areas and their cattle are dying from Nagana, the disease transmitted by tsetse,” he said.
The pesticide pyrethroid, which the teams are using, is biodegradable and is friendlier to the environment compared to organochlorins like dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane that were used in the past.
Pesticides such as DDT have been blamed for leaving undesirable residual substances that are harmful to the environment long after they have been applied.
Mr Shereni revealed that his department was receiving support from the International Atomic Energy Agency in carrying out feasibility studies on the use of the Sterile Insect Technique in which the male fly was sterilised to break the breeding cycle of the flies.
The African Union is funding the tsetse eradication programmes through the African Development Bank.
Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have since done their project proposals for funding and submitted them to the AU while Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana also have their own regional project as they share a common fly species.
To the east of Africa, there is Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda who are also rolling out a similar project. Ethiopia is not part of the tsetse belt but is receiving funding for the programme, which it is doing alone.
Many African governments have benefited under the Regional Tsetse and Trypanoso-miasis Control Programme that ran from 1986 to the year 2000.