videonewsasia.com PAKISTAN:  LOCUSTS

PAKISTAN: LOCUSTS

Local News Islamabad, ISLAMABAD

News ID : 78190 Video Version : 1 Script Version : 1

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Headline

Locusts can become a bigger problem than COVID 19 for Pakistan - NDMA

Intro

Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. General Muhammad Afzal says the menace of locusts is going to grow by next month.

Story

Shotlist:   ISLAMABAD , PAKISTAN  (MAY  13, 2020)    (VNA  – ACCESS ALL)

  1. CHAIRMAN NATIONAL DISASTER  MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NDMA) LIEUTENANT GENERAL MUHAMMAD AFZAL ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE
  2. AFZAL SITTING DOWN
  3. REPORTERS
  4. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) CHAIRMAN NATIONAL DISASTER  MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NDMA), LIEUTENANT GENERAL MUHAMMAD AFZAL, SAYING:
  5. “I believe that next month locusts are going to become as big a problem for us, if not bigger, than the coronavirus. And they are going to create great problems for us. Considering this, NDMA has started working on this problem. This slide is showing you the state of the locust problem in Pakistan  at this time.[NEXT SLIDE]. “The Red areas on this slide are various regions where locusts are present in groups and swarmlets, and we have started working on them. This is our daily update from three provinces which are affected by  locusts. As matter of fact, all four provinces have been affected. “
  6. REPORTER’S HANDS TAKING NOTES ON CELL PHONE
  7. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) CHAIRMAN NATIONAL DISASTER  MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NDMA), LIEUTENANT GENERAL MUHAMMAD AFZAL, SAYING:
  8.  “ Wherever locusts are  found, ground spray is being carried out on them.  All actions are being taken. NDMA has also decided that, since there are chances of locusts coming  here from Africa, we have borrowed 5 helicopters from Pakistan army. Machinery has been attached to them. These aircraft are now available  to all four provinces for spray purposes. Whenever they get any information from any region, they can carry out spray with these helicopters. Apart from this, one Beaver aircraft is parked in Hyderabad, which is also available. You might also have heard that recently we also brought an aircraft from Turkey aboard a Pakistan Airforce  plane. That plane has also been assembled, by the grace of Allah. Tomorrow we will carry out a test flight of that plane. And it will join the Locust Fleet.”  
  9. REPORTERS
  10. END OF NEWS CONFERENCE
STORY: Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. General Muhammad Afzal, on Wednesday (May 13) expressed serious concerns about the menace of locusts that has invaded the country for the past few months.

“I believe that next month locusts are going to become as big a problem for us, if not bigger, than the coronavirus. And they are going to create great problems for us. Considering this, NDMA has started working on this problem. This slide is showing you the state of the locust problem in Pakistan  at this time.The Red areas on this slide are various regions where locusts are present in groups and swarmlets, and we have started working on them. This is our daily update from three provinces which are affected by  locusts. As matter of fact, all four provinces have been affected, “ Afzal told a news conference in Islamabad.
As the world focuses on the spread of the coronavirus, the desert locust,  one of the most dangerous migratory pests, has been causing  destruction from the Arabian Peninsula to East Africa and as far east as Pakistan and India.
It is the worst outbreak of desert locusts to strike the Horn of Africa in decades. For Ethiopia and Somalia it is the biggest in 25 years, and the worst in Kenya for 70 years.
Pakistan declared a national emergency in February as farmers struggled to combat their worst locust situation in nearly three decades, with swarms from last summer's breeding reaching the country's agricultural heartland in the Punjab region.
Afzal said Pakistan was taking major steps to  combat the looming menace.
“ Wherever locusts are  found, ground spray is being carried out on them.  All actions are being taken. NDMA has also decided that, since there are chances of locusts coming  here from Africa, we have borrowed 5 helicopters from Pakistan army. Machinery has been attached to them. These aircraft are now available  to all four provinces for spray purposes. Whenever they get any information from any region, they can carry out spray with these helicopters. Apart from this, one Beaver aircraft is parked in Hyderabad, which is also available. You might also have heard that recently we also brought an aircraft from Turkey aboard a Pakistan Airforce  plane. That plane has also been assembled, by the grace of Allah. Tomorrow we will carry out a test flight of that plane. And it will join the Locust Fleet,” he said. 

Last year, locusts arrived in Pakistan from Iran in June and ravaged cotton, wheat, corn and others crops. Favorable weather conditions and a delayed government response helped locusts to breed and attack the growing areas.

Now, authorities in southern Sindh Province are worried that the imminent locust attack will devastate cotton, the local cash crop, before it is harvested in the coming months.

Pakistan has asked the Chinese government to help Pakistan to fight the desert locust.

The last time Pakistan saw a serious threat of locusts was in 1993. These days, swarms of locusts have invaded India and neighboring countries in East Africa .

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