Harare – Zimbabwe is close to eradicating tsetse flies with only 30 000 square kilometers of infested land remaining at the moment, an official has said.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development director for tsetse control William Shereni said the country has made huge strides in eradicating tsetse flies since independence.
“About 80 000 square kilometres were actually tsetse infested at independence. Over the years, we have eradicated tsetse flies from over 50 000 square kilometers,” he said.
“We are left with about 30 000 square kilometers which is mainly along the Zambezi valley from Mola we move into the Matusadona National Park, Gache Gache, Kanyati, Kariba, sections of Hurungwe, Mana Pools, Kanyemba, Mushumbi Pools, sections of Muzarabani, that is the limit of the belt at the moment,” he added.
Shereni said as far as effects of the Nagana disease which was transmitted to animals was concerned, the department had cleared it from most of the farming areas.
“In the past, areas like Gokwe, Muzarabani and Karoi farms had problems of cattle dying from the disease but now that is a thing of the past,” he said.
“We are getting two infections or cases of sleeping sickness in humans in a year,” he added.
Tsetse flies bite cattle and humans, causing Nagana and sleeping sickness respectively.