Pest spreads throughout north Malaita

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BY SAMIE WAIKORI

AUKI

THERE are reports that the much dreaded coconut rhinoceros beetle is spreading throughout the northern region of Malaita province.

Initially sighted in Takwa, the pest is now reportedly seen in other parts of the region such as Uru-Uru and Tara’ana which is approximately 10 kilometres from Takwa.

A senior catechist under the Takwa Catholic parish, Mr Eddie Kaia conveyed to Island Sun yesterday the fear that communities in the parish have for the incoming threat posed by the beetle for their coconuts.

He said they have already seen the effects of the beetle’s activities in their coconuts, with many trees sprouting out distorted leaves.

Kaia explains that coconut is one of their main sources of income, and with the presence of the beetle, they are certain that this source will be depleted – if help is not forthcoming from authorities.

He adds that apart from the commercial importance of coconuts, it also constitutes a part of their staple diet.

This paper understands that a team from Biosecurity and Quarantine under MAL offices in Honiara and Auki went to Takwa mid-last week in an attempt to seek possible solution to the beetle issue.

The catechist confirmed their visit to Takwa as awareness was held with communities on the issue as well as the staff set-up materials in various places in Takwa for the control of the beetle.

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