Watch out for snakes!
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2005. Watch out for snakes!. Spore 120. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48040
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore120.pdf
Snake bites are 10 to 20 times more common in rural than in urban areas. The incomplete data available shows that there are about one million snake bites a year in Africa, with 600,000 cases of poisoning and 20,000 deaths...
Snake bites are 10 to 20 times more common in rural than in urban areas. The incomplete data available shows that there are about one million snake bites a year in Africa, with 600,000 cases of poisoning and 20,000 deaths. In 54% of cases, the bites occur during agricultural activities, while 19% happen during travel and 5% during hunting. In November 2004, the 2nd International Symposium on venom poisoning in Africa was held in Cotonou, Benin, to examine progress in efforts to occasionally reduce fatal accidents. Some agricultural techniques used in large plantations inadvertently favour the presence of certain snakes. For example, in banana plantations of Côte d'Ivoire, there are five to six times more Causus maculates vipers which are fortunately relatively harmless than in the neighbouring forest. The use of mulching to retain water at the base of banana trees favours the proliferation of these snakes. Drainage techniques, involving moving water between groups of trees, promotes the presence of Afronatrix anoscopus, an aggressive water snake whose venom is, however, non-toxic. In high risk environments, or during agricultural activity, most accidents can be avoided through the use of thick clothing, boots, gloves and hats, when the climate allows it.