Locust swarms are decreasing in the Western Cape
The Western Cape’s Agricultural Department confirmed that the size and occurrence of locust swarms are decreasing in the province.
MEC Dr. Ivan Meyer allocated R5 million towards combating the locust infestation in Central Karoo and Garden Route Districts, two weeks ago. He is however concerned about the threat of re-occurrence.
‘’No further sightings of locust swarms were reported the past week in Laingsburg. In addition, the number and size of swarms in Murraysburg, the Garden Route District and Beaufort West have diminished.’’
According to reports, one swarm was sighted in Prince Albert, while two swarms in Merweville. Another large swarm, moving in a South Easterly direction, was spotted 30 kilomteres East of Beaufort West. Meyer added that hoppers have been sighted in the Kliprand area of the West Coast.
Meyer says swarms of locusts have migrated to the Eastern Cape.
‘’We are also aware that eggs are lying dormant and will hatch in ideal weather conditions. In this regard, my Department and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre are finalising the latest Assessment Report to quantify the full extent of losses experienced by the agricultural sector and the outlook ahead.’’
This report, says the MEC, will enable the Western Cape to approach the National Disaster Management Centre to request a Disaster Classification in partnership with the Disaster Management Centres in the Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces.
‘’I am thankful to my officials and sector partners, such as organised agriculture, DALRRD, district municipalities, District Locust Officers, and Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), for taking the necessary steps to mitigate the locust infestation in the Western Cape.,’’ says MEC, Dr. Ivan Meyer.
‘’The Western Cape will continue to work with our stakeholders to find a sustainable solution to protect the agricultural sector in the Western Cape. We have to prevent an impending disaster. Doing so will protect the agricultural sector and livelihoods,’’ he added.
Done By: Mitchum George