Thousands of poisonous centipedes have invaded farms and homes of over 170 settlements in the Juaboso District of the Western Region where they are destroying cocoa farms and causing inconvenience to residents.
Compounds of residents in the affected areas, as well as their kitchen, rooms, churches, schools and health facilities have all been flooded by the centipedes.
Health authorities at the affected clinics and the community members are struggling to control the invasion of the venomous creature that is hazardous to humans.
Residents of the affected communities, which include Bonsu-Nkwanta, New Berekum, Ahwiafofu and Danyame, have now abandoned their farms in order to protect their compound with regular sweeping.
The few farmers who are able to go to their farms also say they do not get a place to stand and work in the farms due to the centipedes.
“We cannot leave our family and go to the farm because of the invasion of centipedes in our communities,” Emmanuel Addo, a farmer told TV3
Two children were said to have died last year due to a similar invasion last year.
Although a bite to an adult human is usually very painful and may cause severe swelling, chills, fever, and weakness, it is unlikely to be fatal.
Bites can be dangerous to small children and those with allergies to bee stings. The venomous bite of larger centipedes can induce anaphylactic shock in such people. Smaller centipedes are generally incapable of piercing human skin.
TV3 gathered the centipede invasion has become an annual ritual at the affected communities but it is unclear what triggers the invasion.
Their presence, according to the residents, has impacted negatively on cocoa beans and creating discomfort for them.
Insecticides like Akate master used for the controlling pest on cocoa are now being used to control the centipedes but that appears not to be yielding results.
Director General of the National Disaster and Management Organization [NADMO], Nana Agyemang Prempeh has toured the affected areas where he expressed shock at the level of invasion.
“We appealed to the government to come to their aid,” he said, adding “once you kill them, in less than 10 minutes you see them multiplying and you see them coming again”.
He was worried the invasion could affect cocoa production in the area, and assured the people of government’s intervention to address the situation.
The Juaboso District Director of Cocoa, Nana Otutu Abebio V, said they have been experiencing this for the past three years, and appealed to the authorities to response quickly to their plight.
District Chief Executive for Juaboso, Martha Kwayie Manu, described the invasion as alarming but assured them of government support to address the situation.
The Director General of the National Disaster Management Organization [NADMO], Nana Agyemang Prempeh, observed that, they omit some poisonous gases .
By Benjamin Aidoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana