Did you know that the tsetse fly was eradicated in Senegal thanks to Nuclear Technology?

The Niayes region in Senegal is practically free of the Tsetse fly, a plague that caused great economic and social damage. The above, thanks to the help of Nuclear Technology.

Four years ago, in Senegal, an aggressive plan to eradicate the Tsetse Fly was launched, a species that seriously threatened the economy and the environment, causing the death of more than three million head of cattle. which implied at least 4,000 million dollars in losses annually, as a result of the transmission of parasites that cause the Nagana disease, which drastically decreased the weight of cattle. Also, in some parts of the African continent, this fly causes sleeping sickness in humans.

The eradication plan has consisted of carrying out the Sterile Insect Technique, which consists of the use of ionizing radiation to sterilize mass-produced male flies in special breeding facilities. Subsequently, sterile males (already irradiated) are systematically released by land and air into infested areas where they mate with females, resulting in no offspring and a decline in the population. This technique can in the long term eradicate populations of wild flies. The Sterile Insect Technique is one of the most innocuous fighting tactics available today.

This technique has already been applied in the Niayes area, near the capital of Dakar, and will be applied in another area of that country. The results obtained have made it possible to completely eradicate this insect in the Niayes area and 98% in another area, contributing to the improvement of food security and economic progress, increasing the income of the rural population by 30% on average.

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