NATION

Project Releases Wolbachia Mosquitoes Via UAV

Nakasi, Nasinu, is the site of a first for Fiji trial to release Wolbachia mosquitoes through an unmanned aerial vehicle. Project co-ordinator Aminiasi Tavui said the World Mosquito Program (WMP)
12 Nov 2018 13:49
Project Releases Wolbachia Mosquitoes Via UAV
Children of Nakasi with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle which will release the Wolbachia Mosquitoes.

Nakasi, Nasinu, is the site of a first for Fiji trial to release Wolbachia mosquitoes through an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Project co-ordinator Aminiasi Tavui said the World Mosquito Program (WMP) was partnering international not-for-profit organisation WeRobotics.

“We are so privileged that the USAID has funded this part of the project and this will go on for five weeks, so we will be starting with the release from November 19,” he said.

“Today is the trial use of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to deploy mosquitoes with naturally occurring bacteria called Wolbachia.

“It is the first time WMP will trial this safe, non-invasive method of releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes using UAV technology.”

Mr Tavui said that although this work was in its very early stages, there was potential for UAV technology to help distribute mosquitoes with Wolbachia across large cities where diseases such as dengue cause heartache for many families.

“This is strictly for five weeks and then we will see if it’s good or bad,” he said.

“Mosquitoes which are released are colour coded so when they are trapped in the traps, we know these were the mosquitoes which was released from the UAV.”

Yesterday the remote-controlled hexacopter will made short flights over Nakasi to test altitude, speed and whether there were any effects on mosquito health.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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