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Red Locusts descend on Malawi, livelihoods threatened

Red locusts are destroying hectares upon hectares of crops in Mulanje, officials have disclosed.

This is according to the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and water development press statement which was released on Thursday and signed by the ministry’s secretary, Erica Maganga.

The locust swarms were first sighted on 19 September, 2017 at Chinyama, along the Ruo River.

According to the statement, the affected areas include Unyolo 1 and 2, Ntiza, Thembe, Sameta, Sanjika and Golden.

The locusts are currently flying towards the Luchenza in Thyolo and Thuchila EPA close to Chiradzulu.

The locusts have been seen in trees and damaging cassavas, maize, bananas, sweet potatoes, and pigeon peas.

The ministry said aerial surveys will be done to locate the origin of the swarms and carry out control operations.

Apart from that, the ministry has also organized officials to assist communities with pesticides while arranging for aerial spraying.

“Communities are being advised to refrain from picking and consuming weakened or dead locusts which have been destroyed by pesticides,” reads part of the statement.

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