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Drones deliver sterile insects to tackle disease in Ethiopia

They reduce the tsetse fly population and stop the spread of trypanosomiasis.

  insects

To combat disease-ridden tsetse flies in Africa, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is enlisting heavy-duty drones. An autonomous system has been developed by Embention, which can fly for up two hours at a cruise speed of 20 meters per second. Under each wing is a stack of temperature controlled pods, each containing a swarm of sterile male insects. These little creatures have been pummelled with gamma radiation, courtesy of the IAEA, while they were bred in captivity. Once they’re in the wild, they mate ferociously with the native population, producing no offspring and consequentially lowering the tsetse fly population.

“The wild population will decline progressively,” Argiles-Herrero, an IAEA scientist working on the drone project said. “The survivors are overwhelmed with more sterile males every week, at a ration of 10:1, so in the end the population cannot recover and can eventually be eradicated.”
drons
The approach could be replicated with manned aircraft, but there are benefits to using the drones. First of all, they’re cheaper to use, given their size and autonomous flight capabilities. They’re also more effective because they can fly lower than their manned equivalent. Embention’s system is convenient too, as it can be programmed to drop the insects at different rates depending on the area. So if the region has a particularly high tsetse fly population, the drone can up its dosage accordingly. Otherwise, it will simply drop the boxes at predefined coordinates.
The drones are being tested in Ethiopia, where tsetse flies affect at least 200,000 square kilometers of fertile land. Embention and the IAEA are working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to fine-tune the system. If it’s successful, the autonomous planes could be rolled out further, tackling the problem in wider areas. That would slow the spread of trypanosomosis, commonly known as sleeping sickness, and ultimately save human lives.
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Source: http://www.engadget.com

6 Comments

  1. Someone please send drones to chase away the TPLF PESTS from our lands too.
    .
    Between the foreigners and the feudal TPLF land grabbers themselves Ethiopians lost close to 75% of the lands since 1991. AEthiopians are forced to watch foreigners eat their food while they starve . Ethiopians are forced to watch TPLF steal to deposit in their personal accounts 12 digits ($100,000,000, 000) of dollars around the world IN LESS THAN 3 DECADES while millions of Ethiopians died from lack of clean drinking waters.
    And right now 35 million Ethiopians are at risk of death from starvation.
    IN 1935 Italy was willing to use chemical weapons to destroy WHAT THEY CONSIDERED AS PESTS. IN Battle of Shire (29 February–
    Soviet estimate states that 15 000 of the 50 000 Ethiopian casualties in the war
    were caused by chemical weapons.
    March 1936), the Battle of Maychew (31 March 1936) and in attacks on the
    remnants of Ethiopian forces in the Lake Ashangi region starting in April. The
    last reported use of chemical weapons by Italy was in April 1936.13 That
    month the Ethiopian Government also provided a list of towns it said had been
    attacked with chemical weapons Town Date of attack
    Takkaze 22 Dec. 1935
    Amba Alaa 26 Dec. 1935
    Borena 31 Dec. 1935
    Sokota 10 Jan. 1936
    Makale 21 Jan. 1936
    Megalo Feb. 1936a
    Waldia Road 27 Feb. 1936
    Quoram 16 Mar. 1936
    Ylanserer 17 Mar. 1936
    Quoram 17–18 Mar. 1936
    Irga Alem 19–21 Mar. 1936
    Indomahoni 29–30 Mar. 1936
    Quoram 4–7 Apr. 1936
    Italy’s use of chemical weapons had a strategic effect on the conduct of the
    war and, as operations progressed, Italian forces were able to deliver large
    quantities of sulphur mustard against target areas. Chemical weapons were
    used to protect the flanks of Italian supply routes and lines of attack and as a
    ‘force multiplier’ to increase disruption in the Ethiopian forces by hindering
    communication, demoralizing troops and confusing troop movements.
    14 A
    In some zones like the South Omo zone 98% of the land is owned by the feudal TPLF land owners.
    .Oromia is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the illegal eviction of farmers that is going on in Ethiopia.

  2. Someone please send drones to chase away the TPLF PESTS from our lands too.
    .
    Between the foreigners and the feudal TPLF land grabbers themselves Ethiopians lost close to 75% of the lands since 1991. AEthiopians are forced to watch foreigners eat their food while they starve . Ethiopians are forced to watch TPLF steal to deposit in their personal accounts 12 digits ($100,000,000, 000) of dollars around the world IN LESS THAN 3 DECADES while millions of Ethiopians died from lack of clean drinking waters.
    And right now 35 million Ethiopians are at risk of death from starvation.
    IN 1935 Italy was willing to use chemical weapons to destroy WHAT THEY CONSIDERED AS PESTS. IN Battle of Shire (29 February–
    Soviet estimate states that 15 000 of the 50 000 Ethiopian casualties in the war
    were caused by chemical weapons.
    March 1936), the Battle of Maychew (31 March 1936) and in attacks on the
    remnants of Ethiopian forces in the Lake Ashangi region starting in April. The
    last reported use of chemical weapons by Italy was in April 1936.13 That
    month the Ethiopian Government also provided a list of towns it said had been
    attacked with chemical weapons Town Date of attack
    Takkaze 22 Dec. 1935
    Amba Alaa 26 Dec. 1935
    Borena 31 Dec. 1935
    Sokota 10 Jan. 1936
    Makale 21 Jan. 1936
    Megalo Feb. 1936a
    Waldia Road 27 Feb. 1936
    Quoram 16 Mar. 1936
    Ylanserer 17 Mar. 1936
    Quoram 17–18 Mar. 1936
    Irga Alem 19–21 Mar. 1936
    Indomahoni 29–30 Mar. 1936
    Quoram 4–7 Apr. 1936
    Italy’s use of chemical weapons had a strategic effect on the conduct of the
    war and, as operations progressed, Italian forces were able to deliver large
    quantities of sulphur mustard against target areas. Chemical weapons were
    used to protect the flanks of Italian supply routes and lines of attack and as a
    ‘force multiplier’ to increase disruption in the Ethiopian forces by hindering
    communication, demoralizing troops and confusing troop movements.
    14 A
    In some zones like the South Omo zone 98% of the land is owned by the feudal TPLF land owners.
    .Oromia is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the illegal eviction of farmers that is going on in Ethiopia.

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