USAID allows DDT use in Africa

Africa Science News Service reports that USAID signed a contract that allows U.S. money to be used to purchase DDT for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) against malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

If so, this is one of the final barriers to use of U.S. funds for DDT use. Oddly, the news report offers no details on when or where the contract was made.

DDT use in Uganda was halted pending a suit by Uganda agricultural businesses to stop the spraying. The contract discussed would allow purchase of other insecticides to be used in place of DDT for IRS.

It’s important to note that no environmental organizations have expressed opposition to the limited use of DDT in IRS applications. It may be significant to note that the programs involving indoor spraying fall into the category of integrated pest management, which is what Rachel Carson urged in her 1962 book, Silent Spring.

2 Responses to USAID allows DDT use in Africa

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    If USAID supports DDT with money in ANY nation, that’s a change in policy, and news.

    I share your displeasure with the ambiguity of the information available.


  2. yilloslime says:

    I think that article is wrong. It implied the DDT was to be sprayed in Kenya, and possibly in all African countries that are part of the USAID/PMI plan, which–as far as I can tell–is incorrect. I haven’t seen a single news article, other than this one, that claimed or implied DDT would be used in Kenya, in fact I recall reading that Kenya a specifically decided to not spray DDT. Uganda, South Africa, and a couple countries are using DDT, but they are in the minority. Further evidence that the implication that DDT will be in Kenya is incorrect is provided by this PMI document which says pyrethroids, not DDT, will be used in Kenya:, and by this letter from USAID to Pesticide Action Network: The article seems to be based on this page of the US Embassy in Nairobi’s website which does talk about DDT in general terms, but doesn’t say it will be used in Kenya. In short, yes, USAID is supporting in a few African countries, but not all, and not Kenya.


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