Cause for Swakop’s fly plague still under investigation

The source of the current fly plague of troubling residents of Swakopmund, especially in the northern suburbs of Mile 4 and Ocean View, could not yet be determined with certainty. The municipality is still investigating the cause and is trying to find asolution to the problem.

Speaking to the namib times newspaper yesterday, Raubium Ujaha, Environmental Health Practitioner: Waste at the municipal Health Department, said that no definite cause for the plague could be determined yet. “The issue is receiving a high priority,” he added.
While flies are not uncommon, the sudden increase over the past few months, especially in the northern suburbs, have become a health concern. Residents of Ocean View and Mile 4 have lodged many complaints, saying they use insecticides but even these show no significant result. Some residents have drawn up a petition addressed to the municipality in an attempt to have the issue resolved.
“The Municipal Health Department has been investigating, especially Ocean View, where the bulk of the complaints emanated from and found that a private school in Ocean View used pig fertilizer on their sports field, resulting in a large breeding area for flies,” the municipality said in a statement recently.
Speaking to the newspaper yesterday Ujaha was not entirely sure that this is the main cause though: “When we did a follow-up at the school this week we could not determine that the flies indeed breed there,” he said. In the same vein investigations were conducted at the landfill located east of the mentioned suburbs, but even here measures are taken to keep the fly population under control.
“It is a complex issue,” Ujaha said. Normal house fly eggs are laid in almost any warm, moist material that will supply suitable food for the larvae. The female may lay a total of five to six batches of 75 to 100 eggs. In warm weather, eggs hatch in 12 to 24 hours. There are numerous sources for flies to breed, for example; kelp and other organic material washed out by the sea, garden fertilizers, open or dirty bins and uncovered discarded rubbish. A major contributing factor to the sudden fly increase is the warm weather Swakopmund has been experiencing this year so far.
March was unusually warm as the first East weather hit the coast in the beginning of that month. April closed very near average in terms of temperature, but was still slightly warmer. It is normal to experience fly plagues during periods of warmer weather in Swakopmund, which usually occurs annually during East wind conditions.
In the meantime the municipality has encouraged households to ensure that they deploy ways to control the flies at home. There are various products on the market that could assist in the prevention and repelling of the flies; chemical and non-chemical based. The fly plague should decrease once the temperature drops and the wind picks up.

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