24 May 2018

Tanzania: Use Drones to Combat Mosquitoes, Experts Urge Campaigners

Dar es Salaam — The government has been urged to use drones to save money on distributing biolarvicides and spraying mosquito larvae.

Biolarvicides made by Kibaha Biotech Products Ltd for are now produced on mass scale to kill mosquito larvae, but the challenge is how to market and distribute them at low costs.

However, experts say drones are convenient to distribute the chemical and spray mosquitoes.

Combined with mapping, they can be used to target specific areas of insects or diseases, reducing the impact and increasing efficiency, experts of the UK's DroneAG were recently quoted as saying.

Speaking at the sidelines of a recent forum to discuss drones, the technologists said spraying could be undertaken at a low cost without spoiling the environment.

Tanzania Flying Labs managing director Leka Tingitana says: "Drones are useful for easy, effective and timely gathering of scattered data.

They can also be used to collect accurate data at a lower cost than other means of data collection because of they use unman flights."

Uhuru Labs director Fredrick Mbuya spoke of the need to be careful on the use of a combination of means to distribute biolarvicides. "Drones are useful for cost-saving, but they have to be adopted in combination with other techniques to avoid complications."

The idea of using drones has come after President John Magufuli directed that Tanzania Biotech Products Limited, which produces biolarvicides, be rescued.

According to the 2017 Controller and Auditor General report, although the National Development Corporation, through Tanzania Biotech Products, distributed 236,420 litres of biolarvicides worth Sh3.12 billion to all 26 regions in Mainland Tanzania between August and November 2017, where each council was allocated the specific number of litres of biolarvicides, more than 70 per cent of all councils did not spray the chemicals on mosquito larvae.

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