Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - February 2019

By the time you are reading this article, Ali Kennedy (our committee member who plans and delivers those wonderful meals at the Murder Mystery Evenings and other Link events) and Chris will be in Nkokoto and Urambo meeting with Stima and representatives of Urambo District Council to discuss how the Link is going to progress its projects for the village, schools and Folk Development College (FDC.)

Originally, it was my plan to go out to make the visit but I have had a couple of health issues that have cropped up making it rather unwise to travel to Tanzania, so Ali and Chris very kindly offered to go to “do the business.” I am very grateful to Ali and Chris for their willingness to give up their time to make the visit. We will keep everyone in touch with developments as decisions are made but we do know that we have been asked again to provide school uniforms, learning materials and bicycles for the students from Nkokoto who are transferring from the primary school to their local secondary school at Vumilia, as well as to pay the college fees for six students who have registered at the FDC in Urambo.

MosquitoOn another but related subject, readers might be interested in a report that I have read concerning mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are a plague, responsible for 450,000 deaths world wide including in places such as Nkokoto. Billions of pounds are spent in trying to limit the damage they do but now it seems that, in theory, there is a possibility of wiping out all killer mosquitoes.

Scientists at Imperial College London have reported that they had succeeded in destroying a population of trapped mosquitoes by using “gene drive” technology to spread a genetic alteration to make the female mosquitoes infertile. The idea was that over time, as the alteration was passed down, the females would die out and the population would collapse – and in the trial, this is what happened. The University team used the technology to alter the DNA of 150 female mosquitoes which were then added to a larger population of unaltered mosquitoes. Within about eight generations, there were no females left. Obviously, more research will be needed to see if this effect can be replicated in the wild but the study shows that there is hope in eradi-cating mosquitoes bearing malaria.

Don’t forget : Murder Mystery Evenings on March 1st and 2nd at the Market House. Tickets will be on sale soon.

Rod Harris, Link Chairman
01453 872317 / 0777565239