African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1126

Full Length Research Paper

Consumption, indigeneous knowledge and cultural values of the lakefly species within the Lake Victoria region

Monica A. Ayieko* and Veronica Oriaro
Maseno University, P. O. Box 333-40105, Maseno
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 31 October 2008

Abstract

 

Of the edible insects, lakeflies (Chaoborus and Chironomus sp) are least documented as items of human consumption.  They are eaten by the Luo communities living within the Lake Victoria basin.  The purpose of this study was to evaluate the importance of lake flies as a source of food and its role in cultural practices.  Edible Diptera species were identified, indigenous knowledge documented, and its cultural value analyzed.  Data was collected in Nyanza Province within the Lake Victoria region in Kenya. The most commonly consumed type are Chaoborus sp. and Chironomus sp. Emergence of the flies is used to predict rainfall, and the size of swarms to predict the amount of rain, and the villagers prepare accordingly for cropping.  Women feed their weak children with the Chaoborids biscuits to gain strength.  Witchdoctors claim to use flies as lucky charms in business and romance.  Some traditional medicine practitioners also add the fly powder to their concoctions to cure certain ailments.  They claim that adding a portion of the fly to herbal medicine enhances efficacy.  Major challenge in utilization of insects is their seasonality and difficulties in collection. The flies have economic potential for the natives of clean lake waters region.

 

Key words: Lakeflies, entomophagy, indigenous knowledge, cultural values, Lake Victoria