The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia handed over N$ 2 Million to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, aimed towards combating the outbreak of the African Migratory Red Locusts in the northern regions of Namibia.
The locusts have and continue to cause enormous damage to the seasonal crops in the northern parts of the country, devastating many farmers who are already struggling. Since the second occurrence of the outbreak in early August, the locusts have managed to destroy 500 hectares of grazing land in the Zambezi Region. This outbreak worries farmers as the ploughing season begins.
Speaking at the handover, Head of Communications and Corporate Services, Mr. Lot Ndamanomhata, on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Benedict Libanda said that with this small contribution, it is with hopes that this assistance will go a long way. “At the Environmental Investment Fund, we see these challenges as opportunities to be transformative and introduce a paradigm shift to business unusual,” Ndamanomhata said. He further urged businesses, organisations and stakeholders, to get involved where possible to secure vegetation and ensure food security is not undermined.
In his speech, the Executive Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Mr. Percy Misika, reminds the public that the agricultural sector remains pivotal to the lives of the majority of the Namibian people, supporting over 70 % of the country’s population for sustenance, incomes and livelihoods.
“So far we have taken the following measures of deploying spraying teams comprising of thirty-five (35) trained staff members, dispatched fourteen (14) vehicles, mist blowers, four (4) vehicle-mounted sprayers, 4 175 litres of pesticides to contain the outbreak, amongst other things,” Misika said.
Misika added that the funds received from the EIF will be used to purchase more biological pesticides 312 kg), mist blowers (14), protective gear (200), gloves (200), gumboots (200) disposable overalls (200), chemical respirators (100) and goggles (100).
The first African Migratory Red Locust outbreak was reported in February 2020, which saw it affect the Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati, Omaheke and Ojtozondjupa Regions, thus affecting 9 of the 10 crop-growing regions.
(Source: EIF press release)