Print Edition - 2015-06-08  |  Earthquake Relief

Armyworms trouble life under tarpaulin

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Armyworms trouble life under tarpaulin

Jun 7, 2015-

Armyworms have been spreading out in more wards of Gaurisankar VDC of Dolakha district. The insects are not just destroying crops but are also troubling people.

Locals had complained of the emergence of the worms last week. However, the District Administration has not been able to send neither technicians nor insecticides to the village.

“We are aware of the situation, but the village is so remote that we need choppers to get there,” Dolakha CDO, Premlal Lamichhane told the Post.

Until recently, the corns, potatoes and millet seedlings were growing in the villages. The worms have now destroyed almost everything in the area.

According to locals, the worms were initially seen in 5-9 wards of the VDC. As there was no means to control its spread, it continued to grow by day.

Now, the worms have spread over 2-4 wards. “The worms eat up everything. We will have no food to eat this year,” said Migma Chokki, a local.    

The village is the last remaining village to receive the government relief. Due to remoteness, no organisation has reached out for help in the area.  The government distributed tarpaulins and food stuffs last week. However, Lamichhane also admitted that the relief material were not enough. He said the supplies have to be flown and many villages of the VDC are inaccessible due to landslides.

“And now the worms have not just finished our crops, they have been creating a lot of trouble for the people as well,” said Chokki.

According to her, they also bite people. Most of the villagers have developed allergies, which they think is caused by the worms.

The major aftershock of May 12 destroyed most of the houses in the village. The only health post of the village is in ruin.

Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Development, said they sent a team of scientists from Nepal Agriculture Research Council and Agriculture Department to the area to monitor the situation.

“I am told that the situation is under control,” said Bhattarai.

Locals said they have not seen any government officials or any outsiders since the worm infested the village.

Even government officials of the district admitted that they have not been able to reach the place. “We already identified the worms but we must admit that we have not been able to do anything to control the spread,” said an official at the district.

Published: 08-06-2015 07:28

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