NATION

Misinformation Regarding Termite Solutions: Biosecurity

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) is deeply con­cerned with the misinfor­mation being spread regarding promises of building concrete houses for those affected by the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST). Fiji
02 Nov 2018 15:35
Misinformation Regarding Termite Solutions: Biosecurity
Asian Subterranean Termites.

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) is deeply con­cerned with the misinfor­mation being spread regarding promises of building concrete houses for those affected by the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST).

Fiji saw an outbreak of AST, sci­entifically known as Coptotermes gestroi, in late 2009 and early 2010 in Lautoka and Labasa. It is an ex­otic pest, the second most destruc­tive termite species in the world and feeds voraciously on timber and other wooden products.

Operation Kadivuka, a Biosecu­rity undertaking, was launched in 2010 to control and contain AST infestations.

 

The operation involved about 150 personnel from various Govern­ment ministries and departments including the disciplined forces and officers from the National Fire Authority (NFA).

Due to the seriousness of AST infestation, Government in 2014 declared the matter as top priority and elevated it to the status of a biosecurity emergency situation.

Since then, Government has been making direct interventions through BAF by providing annual government grants to assist in the control and containment of AST within the declared zones with Op­eration Kadivuka being converted into the BAF AST Project. In the last four years, BAF has been al­located substantial resources for this programme.

BAF chief executive officer, Hillary Kumwenda said: “We are currently in the yearly AST swarming period event (August to November), hence the prevalence of swarms (flying termites) in the evenings.

“We again urge the public not to fall prey to misinformation as the Government has equipped BAF with adequate resources for treat­ment, baiting and conducting di­agnostics work.

“New and additional vehicles have been allocated to the AST Project Teams in Lautoka and Labasa which has enabled BAF to attend to all complaints and our officers are putting in their best ef­forts to go the extra mile to inspect all reported cases,” he added.

“On average, BAF receives around 150 complaints in Lauto­ka and surrounding areas and is managing to respond adequately to all cases.

“The numbers are much lower for Labasa (about 15 reports per week), however, the same level of dedication is put into attending to these cases,” Mr. Kumwenda said.

Source: Biosecurity Authority of Fiji

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