Japanese, UN to support Ethiopian Tsetse fly control campaign
$1.7 million committed to a joint IAEA-FAO project
1 March 2006, Rome/Tokyo/Vienna - The Japanese Government and the United Nations have committed over $1.7 million to a joint IAEA-FAO project to remove the tsetse fly and the diseases it transmits from the Southern Rift Valley in Ethiopia.
The money is being made available through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, which has distributed $256 million since it was established in the UN Secretariat at the initiative of the Japanese Government in 1999.
Ridding the Southern Rift Valley of the tsetse fly will reduce pressure on overcrowded hillsides to which farmers have retreated to escape the spread of the tsetse fly, leaving fertile river valleys unused.
The tsetse fly transmits the trypanosome parasite. In Ethiopia trypanosomosis causes a devastating disease among domestic livestock. Elsewhere, in some of the 37 sub-Sahara Africa countries infested by the tsetse fly, trypanosomosis also causes sleeping sickness in humans.
Welcoming the Japanese commitment IAEA and FAO officials said that the assistance marks the conclusion of years of consensus building on the right approach to follow in fighting the tsetse and trypanosomosis problem.
It also follows a major effort by the Ethiopian government to invite international agencies to agree on a national approach to be pursued in the tsetse-infested Southern Rift Valley
The programme in Ethiopia will integrate the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), which involves the release of colony-bred sterilised flies with other control methods to suppress the wild population, coupled with the development of a programme for sustainable use of newly available land.
News Coordinator, FAO
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