Larvae invasion of Keta and environs has now abated – NADMO

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) on Wednesday said the invasion of the larvae of caterpillar in the Keta and its environs in the Volta Region has abated.

This was achieved with the collaboration of Ghana Armed Forces, and the use of Nim oil which was a more affective and friendly chemical to replace Dipel, previously used to fight the invasion.

Presenting a report on research conducted by the Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana, on effects of the invasion at a press briefing in Accra, Mr Maxwell K. Billah, a Research Scientist, said the invasion was not by army worms as published in the media.

Mr Billah said, “Information in the public domain was grossly misplaced and needed a scientific backstopping to clarify the situation.”

He said the larvae had a distinctive appearance of alternating bristles and haired projections which breaks off easily and were extremely irritating when they come into contact with the skin.

“It swings from plants to plants by means of a silky thread they spin and when agitated, they swing their abdominal to ward off enemies, they are a great threat to human health due to their irritating nature and the severe pain and discomfort they cause to humans.”

Mr Billah said the situation was therefore more of a health problem than an agricultural since they did not feed on economic plants but rather on wild vegetation.

On aerial spraying of the affected communities, Mr Vesper Suglo, Director, PPRSD, said it was not necessary to spray chemicals on the whole area due to the closely knit nature of communities and the wetland.

He explained that aerial spraying was used to target pests such as locusts but not caterpillars.

Brigadier General Daniel Kweku Mishio, Director General (Joint Operation) of the Ghana Armed Forces, said the army had a lot of resources to support civil authority and pledged their support during national disasters and crisis.

On floods that hit Accra on Tuesday, February 22, Mr Kofi Portuphy, NADMO National Coordinator, said the much talked about climate change was manifesting hence the change in rainfall patterns which sometimes eluded the Meteorological Service.

He said, “People should know that we live in crowded communities and low lying areas and advised the public to be vigilant and report recalcitrant individuals who build on waterways or put structures such kiosk and containers on the waterways.”

Mr Porturphy said some strategic drains in the metropolis were being redesigned and expanded to accommodate the volume of water during the rains.

He said areas that were demolished after last year floods had not experienced floods this year and noted that NADMO would offer the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) the needed assistance to demolish structures on waterways to reduce flooding in the metropolis.

Some of the affected communities were; Atiavi, Lebi, Aveli, Atiawodo and Viamvo.

Source: GNA

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