Namibia needs $1.8 million to fight locust outbreak

KATAKWI, UGANDA - FEBRUARY 11: A man holds a locust he has caught to be eaten on February 11, 2020 in Katakwi, Uganda. Uganda has deployed soldiers to help combat one of the worst locust infestations in the region for decades. The UN warned that locusts can put crop production, food security and millions of lives at risk. The insects have already destroyed crops in Kenya in the country’s worst infestation for 70 years. The swarms also pose a threat to other countries in the region, including Ethiopia and Somalia. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
KATAKWI, UGANDA – FEBRUARY 11: A man holds a locust he has caught to be eaten on February 11, 2020 in Katakwi, Uganda. Uganda has deployed soldiers to help combat one of the worst locust infestations in the region for decades. The UN warned that locusts can put crop production, food security and millions of lives at risk. The insects have already destroyed crops in Kenya in the country’s worst infestation for 70 years. The swarms also pose a threat to other countries in the region, including Ethiopia and Somalia. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)

Namibia needs an estimated amount of 30 million Namibia dollars (1.8 million U.S. dollars) for resources to deal with the locust outbreak in the northeast Zambezi region, Agriculture Minister Calle Schlettwein said Thursday.

The outbreak of the African migratory red locust was reported on Aug. 12, 2020. Since then, daily reports have been coming in, said Schlettwein.

This is the second outbreak in the Zambezi region this year following the first one in February 2020. A total area of 4,002 square km has been invaded and 500 hectares of grazing destroyed by the locust so far, he said.

The minister said Namibia needs funds for more resources in terms of manpower, fleet, equipment, personnel protective equipment, and other resources to effectively combat the outbreak.

“Following the reports on the locust outbreak, a spraying team of 35 staff members that are trained in methods to combat outbreaks from different agricultural development centers across the country has been deployed,” Schlettwein added.