- The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation has warned that the disease killing fish in Africa’s Zambezi River basin and already devastating lives of thousands could spread to other parts of the continent.
FAO said the disease, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS), caused by a fungus forming deep lesions on fish, currently ravaging fish in the basin covering 1.4 million square kilometers is putting more than 7, 000 people as risk of hunger. Fish is a major source of income in many rural districts and the cheapest source of protein.
The FAO Senior Fishery Resources Officer, Rohana Subasinghe, said if the EUS is not properly contained, the disease is likely to spread to other countries surrounding the Zambezi River as well as river systems in the region.
“Indications are that EUS, which was first confirmed in Africa in 2007, is spreading both upstream and downstream of the Zambezi and risks taking hold in other parts of Africa,” FAO said in a news release.
It said although fish infected with EUS do not normally pose a threat to humans, the lacerations render them unmarketable, threatening some 25 million people dependent on agriculture or fishing and fish farming in the Zambezi River basin with serious economic loss.
Since 2007, FAO has bolstered defenses in the seven Zambezi River basin countries – Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – against the disease, with measures including basic diagnosis, targeted surveillance and aquatic animal health management.
In cooperation with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), FAO is establishing a programme to strengthen institutional and human ability for managing aquatic animal health in the wild in the affected Southern African countries.
FAO said that controlling EUS in natural waters is almost an impossible task, but in fish farming operations, a number of simple bio-security measures preventing possible carriers getting into water bodies or fish ponds, removing dead fish and improving water quality can minimise its spread.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.