Botswana: Stable Fly Outbreak Wreak Havoc in Lake Ngami

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About 200 animals around Lake Ngami are affected by the stable fly outbreak, commonly known as ‘lethobo.’

Heavy rain experienced around the lake is blamed for the outbreak.

Principal veterinary officer, Dr Odireleng Thololwane said they received reports from farmers around the lake, adding that the affected crushes were Thololamoro, Kandjou and Kandjue.

He said farmers had reported 15 animals dead and that the most affected were goats.

He said farmers had been advised to continue dipping animals in the morning and afternoon.

Dr Thololwane also noted that some farmers were using traditional methods to control the flies.

He also said they had engaged Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board to open their centre in Sehithwa for easy access of dips and other insecticides.

He described stable flies as biting insects that resemble house flies in appearance but smaller in size, adding that the flies bite and suck blood of animals such as cattle, dogs, donkeys, horses, goats and sheep.

He said they suck blood from the legs, sides, back and belly of animals, including the head and ears of small animals.

Dr Thololwane said the outbreak would be contained and controlled as the winter season was approaching.

He said they planned to conduct surveillance in other areas in the district in an effort to control the outbreak.

On other issues, he said Foot and Mouth Disease vaccination campaign was under review.

Dr Thololwane said they could have started the vaccination exercise in April but had to suspend it to facilitate prevention of COVID-19 as people had to abide by the extreme social distancing protocol.

He said they had engaged other stakeholders to review ways to do while adhering to health safety regulations.

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