Namibia prepares for combating Prosopis
Three of the four ORASECOM member states Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are battling and fighting an alien invasive species by the name of Prosopis.
This dreaded alien invasive species, Prosopis, are not native to Botswana, Namibia or South Africa, having been introduced to this region particularly to fight against desertification, to increase tree cover and improve general rangeland and stabilising sand dunes.
Research findings indicate that the Prosopis plants’ spread and invasion has brought about both positive and negative effects that are impacting on communities’ social, economic and ecological development.
Furthermore, it has been noted that encroachment of rangelands by the invasive Prosopis has resulted in the reduction of crop yield, genetic erosion of biodiversity, disruption of water flow, formation of impenetrable thickets and other negative effects across a wide range of agro-ecologies.
Meanwhile ORASECOM’s UNDP – GEF Strategic Action Programme (SAP) project is working with the Republic of Namibia through two government ministries, i.e. Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism and Ministry of Agriculture Water and Land Reform on a demonstration project aimed at clearing and control of Prosopis.
It is envisaged that the project will clear Proposis and rehabilitate 6000hectares of degraded land, mostly in the southern part of Namibia.
As part of preparing for this mammoth task ORASECOM’s UNDP-GEP SAP implementation project organised a benchmarking exercise to South Africa’s Working for Water project which has been fighting and controlling Prosopis for over 25 years.
It is also anticipated that Working for Water will work closely with Namibia’s Project Steering Committee such that they proffer guidance and expertise as they have been relatively successful in combating this dreaded plant.