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Southern Rift Valley Tsetse Eradication Project (STEP)

The Government of Ethiopia has initiated a programme to eradicate tsetse fly from an area of 25,000 km2 in the Southern Rift Valley. The Government has selected the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to be used as the final component of the eradication because of its non-polluting and environmentally friendly nature. The Technical Co-operation Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency through the Insect & Pest Control Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, is assisting the programme with a project to transfer the technology for the SIT to Ethiopia through the Ethiopian Science & Technology Commission which is hosting the project. The project was initiated in 1997, and follows a phased conditional planning approach. The total area of 25,000 km2 has been divided into three blocks, the first block being approximately 10,000 km2 of which about 6,000 km2 is tsetse infested. Block 1 has been divided into the 10km grids of the UTM system. The grids within the project area are identified by letters from west to east (A - N), and numbers from north to south (0 - 12).
The first stage of the programme has been involved with the collection of baseline data. The data includes:

The assembled data will be utilized to produce a report, which will form the basis for deciding whether tsetse eradication is feasible, and economically and environmentally acceptable. The report is due to be completed in June 2000.
The next stage of the work will be to suppress the initial population to a level where the SIT can be applied. Work was started in late 1999 to identify the optimum traps for monitoring and suppression under the prevailing conditions, taking into account the biases in population sampling inherent in every trap, the best odour combination, and the best target. The presence of two species of tsetse in the area may necessitate the use of different traps in different areas.
For further information please contact the National Project Co-ordinator at:



Sight map of STEP


MoST Head Office

Southern Rift Valley Tsetse Eradication Project (STEP)

P.O. Box 11917
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251-11-5516638
Fax: +251-11-5516618
E-Mail: step@estc.gov.et

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