NATION

Early Reporting Crucial To Avoid Further Termite Infestation: BAF

A significant part of BAF’s intervention programme is creating public awareness on AST. The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has reaffirmed that the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST) project is fully
20 Sep 2018 10:00
Early Reporting Crucial To Avoid  Further Termite Infestation: BAF
BAF chief executive officer Hillary Kumwenda.

A significant part of BAF’s intervention programme is creating public awareness on AST.

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has reaffirmed that the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST) project is fully active and is calling for support from the public.

This is especially for those living in the AST infested districts of Lautoka and Labasa to help contain the AST spread and prevent more houses from becoming infested.

AST, scientifically known as Coptotermes gestroi, is an intelligent insect pest, which tunnels its way through the soil to its food source.

The preferred feeding materials include items containing cellulose. This makes living plants, especially trees, dead wood, timber and more importantly wooden structures AST’s perfect target.

The Lautoka and Labasa districts are recognised as biosecurity emergency areas for AST. This termite is exotic to Fiji and an invasive insect that has caused massive damage to residential as well as commercial buildings and vegetation.

BAF under its “Termite Project” has deployed teams to Lautoka and Labasa who are working strenuously to contain, control and manage AST in the infested areas, that is, parts of Lautoka and Labasa districts. BAF’s efforts can only gain significant leverage when the public also actively contributes towards stopping the spread of AST through early reporting and assisting officers during the treatment and monitoring process.

BAF chief executive officer Hillary Kumwenda stressed that AST was one of the most difficult species of termites in the world.

“In this regard, BAF has undertaken various interventions in terms of treatment, monitoring and control of the spread of AST,” Mr Kumwenda said.

“A significant part of BAF’s intervention programme is creating public awareness on AST.

“If reports or complaints are made to BAF after major infestations and structural damages are caused, treatment will always be administered however it cannot change the state of damages to the buildings; which is the main reason why BAF mounts substantial informative campaigns so that stakeholders and the general public are aware and report early for infestations to be fully eliminated and to avert damage to houses and buildings.

“Early reporting is crucial to avoid major damages to houses.”

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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