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    South African company, Amka Organico is out in Nairobi marketing a new product that has been confirmed to reduce pit latrine and septic tank sludge and keep odors away.

    Super Septic is an enzyme-based product sold as a powder that dissolves into the sludge, increasing its biodegradation rate.

    Purpose

    Organico say that the product helps in preventing the contamination of soils surrounding pit latrines and septic tanks by ensuring that only purified water seeps through. This ultimately helps keep water in wells and boreholes dug close to the latrines safe for domestic use.

    It also damages the breeding areas for flies, hence keeping areas surrounding the latrines and septic tanks free of the insects.

    “Super septic is made of a consortium of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria selected for their ability to degrade organic waste. Bacteria produce hundreds of enzymes in response to organic matter presents in the environment.

    The enzymes then  break down proteins, starches, fats, oils, grease and other solids into smaller particles,” said a brief from the manufacturers.

    Super Septic suggests using it weekly for the first month by emptying the contents of one sachet into a bucket of water, mixing and pouring into the latrine or septic tank as an appropriate level of the helpful bacteria is established. After that, one use per month is said to be sufficient.

    The product is sold in a package containing 24 sachets, for KSh2400 or KSh250 per sachet and is available at the Star Mall, along Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi.

    Strict use

    However, the product cannot be used in pits containing soap or other detergents, because these products damage the active enzymes that help in the biodegradation of sludge.

    It is, therefore, ideal for use in septic tanks carrying animal waste, and in pit latrines that do not receive bathing water.

    Al Dawood Distributors, who handle the marketing of the product in Kenya can also be reached through phone number 0780884488.

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    Mint, the herb that is popularly known as a garnish for meat and alcoholic drinks, can variously be used in animal and plant pest control.

    The plant has for several years now been used in controlling white flies in flower farms.

    In practice

    A number of mint plants positioned in various spots around flower greenhouses, release a scent that attracts the flies to them, at which point they are sprayed with pesticides.

    “Dr. Antony Wairimu, a veterinarian and crop management specialist, who describes this as a push-pull approach, says that the strategy helps reduce the usage of pesticides on the flowers.

    “This system can be used on other crops like beans and tomatoes, which are susceptible to while flies. It makes for cost-effectiveness, because pesticides are only used at several points as opposed to spraying whole farms,” said Dr. Wairimu.

    The crop also attracts aphids and spidermites.

    Animal pests

    Strangely, mint repels mosquitoes, mites and fleas and can, therefore, be used in controlling these pests in animals and in human living spaces.

    By planting a few plants next to your house, the plant will help keep mosquitoes away and rubbing it on animal fur, helps control mites and fleas.

     

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    Farmers in Limo area of Kapsoya Location, Eldoret are a worried lot after a strange animal attacked and killed their livestock.

    One farmer, Alicen Koech, lost three sheep on Tuesday night, to the animal believed to be a leopard. It is also suspected that the same animal is responsible for the loss of more than 20 animals reported in the area.

    “The animal just killed the sheep, sucked their blood and left. It appeared uninterested in the meat,” said Koech, who appealed to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to help arrest it.

    Leopards are stealthy and solitary hunters that prefer to pounce rather than chase their prey. While they generally do not pose danger to humans, they will kill most other animals, including dogs.

    Damage everywhere

    Livestock losses to predators has been the cause of clashes between Kenyan farmers and wild animals in various parts of the country.  

    Recently, the , CS of the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources, Prof Judi Wakhungu, promised to work with the County Governments to deal with human-wildlife conflict.

    Wakhungu’s pledge was prompted by the closure of the Taita Taveta KWS office following rampant attacks on area residents by elephants.

    The community office was shut down by County Governor John Mruttu over what was termed as laxity on the part of rangers in preventing wild animals from wandering into residential areas.

    The Ministry conducted a background check and confirmed that the conflict was real and advised farmers to adopt some traditional strategies such as bee-keeping to scare off the jumbos.

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