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Country’s 61 dists under locust attack: NDMA

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ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Authority said on Friday that 61 districts across the country are under attack from locusts, which have been damaging food crops.
Providing a breakdown of the districts, the NDMA spokesman said that the most attacks were reported in Balochistan, where 31 districts witnessed crop damage from locusts. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 districts faced locust attacks while 12 districts of Punjab were also attacked by the insects. The NDMA spokesman said that crops in seven districts of Sindh were also damaged.
The NDMA spokesman said that the survey and operations in locust-hit areas are underway, adding that 1,150 locust-control teams are a part of the operation.
The authority further said that in the past 24 hours, around 313,000 hectares of land were surveyed for the evaluation of damage. The spokesman apprised that 4,400 hectares were treated across Pakistan, while in Balochistan 1,700 hectares of land were sprayed with insecticides.
In Punjab, 1,000 hectares of land were sprayed while in KP, 900 hectares of land were treated. In Sindh, 800 hectares of land were treated, added the NDMA spokesman.
In a bid to facilitate complaints related to locusts, NDMA has activated a hotline 051-111-222-999 for registering and resolving issues pertaining to their attacks. “The aggrieved farmers can register their complaints about the existence of locusts in their respective areas or need of spray on the hotline for 24 hours,” the NDMA spokesperson had said in a statement released this week.
Separately, Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal has said that all-out efforts are underway to acquire 15 planes for spray on locust-hit areas to avoid further loss of crops in the country.
He said that all possible measures have been taken to revive the plant protection institution in a proper manner. He was talking to a private television channel. He said approval for purchasing planes has been given by the concerned authorities so that the process of spray could be started in a befitting manner in locust-hit areas of the country.
The chairman NDMA appreciated the steps taken by Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh governments for the protection of crops from the locust threat.- TLTP