Kharas and Hardap regions feel the wrath of brown locust infestation
Namibia is experiencing a fourth wave of brown locust infestation affecting grazing land in the Kharas and Hardap regions, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform announced Saturday.
The first outbreak was reported in November 2021 at Karasburg East after receiving rainfall of 50 to 80 mm. Thereafter, Kharas and Hardap regions have been the breeding zones for brown locusts.
“To date, the team surveyed a total area of 1.8 million ha in the Kharas region of which 1.2 million ha are sporadically infested by the brown locust. In the Hardap Region, the presence of brown locusts was detected in Malthöhe and Gibeon and a total of 490 hectares was surveyed of which 300 hectares are sporadically infested,” the ministry added.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it has distributed pesticide, mounted vehicle sprayers, protective gear, mistblowers, and camping material to both the Karas and Hardap Regions for use during the new wave of locust infestation.
“To date, [the ministry] supported by farmers sprayed 109,470 ha with 2,119,681 ha under surveillance and monitoring. To intensify the control of brown locusts, a reinforcement team of 23 staff members from other regions were deployed to the Kharas and Hardap Regions,” the ministry said.
“The spraying teams are currently on the ground in the two regions. Spraying begins at 03:00 till 10:00 daily after which the teams carry out surveillance and monitoring,” according to the ministry.
The ministry has also requested farmers to unlock their farm gates to allow the teams to have full access to the infested areas, as spraying from outside the fences does not yield positive and conclusive results.