Officials urge residents not to give up on snail fight

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The fight against the Giant African Snail (GAS) is becoming a more discouraging one for residents as they are becoming ever more disheartened in their daily efforts to control and eradicate the pest.

Addressing a town hall meeting at the Cedar Grove Primary School Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Janil Gore-Francis, got reports from persons who reside near overgrown who expressed that are becoming discouraged in their GAS collection efforts. Each day the residents said they would collect the snails but yet more snails seemed to be appearing the following day.

“If we are to achieve the success in terms of managing the snails,” said Dr Gore-Francis, “it is very important to have a continuous effort, sustained effort, because if you stop, all the work that you would have done before would have been undone, so it is important to maintain the effort to continuously work on collection.”

There was also a representative from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) in national specialist, Craig Thomas.

The IICA has now classified the snail infestation as a nation-wide problem.

“I think the policy makers need to intervene,” said Thomas,

“They need to communicate with [Dr Gore-Francis] and let’s look at a strategic way forward to assist in this effort.”

The chief plant protection officer also indicated that as a result of the series of town hall meetings in various communities around the island that, “people have come forward to lead the community action groups or a local task force… so that is one good output.”

The attendance at the school was the largest to date.

The last town hall meeting will be held at the Multipurpose Centre from 6 to 8pm tomorrow.

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