Monday, August 10, 2009

Zambezi fish disease

According to the Food And agriculture Organisation, (FAO) , a killer disease is decimating fish stocks in the Zambezi River Valley, threatening the food security and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in an area shared by seven southern African countries. The most affected country is Zambia, where two thirds of the Zambezi River Basin lies. This has put over 2,000 villages and some 700,000 people at risk of food insecurity as fish is a part of their staple diet. The disease, known as Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome, causes lesions on fish and has a high mortality rate. FAO has warned that if not properly contained, the disease could spread to other countries surrounding the Zambezi River as well as river systems in the region. The 1.39 million-square-kilometre Zambezi River Basin is home to some 32 million people, of whom 80 per cent are dependent on agriculture or fishing and fish farming. The Zambezi River Basin also includes Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

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