Caterpillar insects invaded some communities in the Zota District of Bong County, Central Liberia, affecting a total of 8,223 persons. The insects have destroyed farm lands with potential food security risk and outbreak of water related diseases.(IFRC 29 Jun 2009)
There appears to be no direct threat to food security as staple food crops such as rice, millet and sorghum have already been harvested. But cash crops have been affected which will impact purchasing power. As of 2 February, 107 towns and villages were affected in 4 counties.(OCHA, 28 Feb, 2009)
Written by Peter Fahny
Item 72 (a) of the provisional agenda
Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and
disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including
special economic assistance: strengthening of the coordination
The Government of India has donated an assortment of bio pesticides and sprayers to the Ministry of Agriculture worth over half a million dollars.
The pesticides and sprayers (manual and motorized) were presented today to the Liberian Government by the Indian Ambassador to Liberia , Her Excellency Shamma Jain at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Agriculture Complex in Gardnersville.
In her remarks, Ambassador Jain said the donation was her Government's initial contribution to contain the spread of the caterpillars that recently invaded several towns in three Counties of Liberia …
ZOTA, 20 March 2009 (IRIN) - Many Liberians in areas recently infested by crop-eating caterpillars are scrambling to find safe water as some wells contaminated by the insects have yet to be cleaned up.
"The wells and the hand-pumps most of us used to drink from are still infected with faeces," said Nowai Kollie, one of the residents in Shankpalla, the first town invaded by caterpillars in Zota District, 170km north of the capital Monrovia.
"There is a serious problem with having clean water right now in this town."
In January thousands of residents …
Concern was named "Best International NGO in Liberia" by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in part for its innovative efforts to give the poorest marginalized farmers tools and training to improve the country's local food supply. Are Concern's Farmer Resource Centers part of a new "green revolution" in Liberia?
Liberia is beginning its recovery from a devastating 14-year civil war that wiped out its agricultural sector, the main source of income and food for most people.
- Caterpillar Infestation Receives Presidential Support
- Voluntary Repatriation of Liberian Refugees
- Cholera and Lassa fever Outbreak and Response
Caterpillar Infestation Receives Presidential Support
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited Bong County where she toured the villages of Zota District in which was recently infested by caterpillar worms. The President was reportedly dismayed to find a lack of transparency and accountability in the distribution of relief aid as many of the targeted groups had not been assisted.
On Wednesday March 4, 2009, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. J. Chris Toe held a regular press briefing on the caterpillar infestation in Liberia . He was joined by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Welfare for Administration, Hon. Vivian Cherue, FAO Representative in Liberia , Dr. Winfred Hammond, and the Director-General of CARI, Dr. Joseph Q.
A paradox: good harvest forecasts and exceptionally high cereal prices in West Africa
Local grain crops are commanding record-high prices on some markets in the midst of the 2008/09 harvest season.
The steep price increase that began in 2007/08 gathered new momentum early this year. Despite good harvests with production levels well above the five-year average and adequate supplies on most key markets across the region, the 2008/09 marketing season is getting underway with grain prices at record highs.
Paradoxe entre les bonnes perspectives de récoltes et les niveaux de prix exceptionnellement élevés en Afrique de l'Ouest
Les céréales locales connaissent des niveaux de prix jamais atteint pendant la période de récoltes 2008/09 sur certains marchés.
La flambée des prix entamée en 2007/08 s'est renforcée en début 2009.
- West Africa holds polio vaccination days
- Measles and meningitis strike in Burkina Faso
- International Contact Group holds first meeting in Guinea
While the food crisis remains a concern, the onset of epidemics of measles and meningitis in Burkina Faso, meningitis in Nigeria, yellow fever in Guinea, and the appearance of a number of polio cases in Ghana, Nigeria and Niger among others , is a reminder of the fragility of the region and of the need for governments, with assistance from humanitarian partners, to pay close attention to these …
Message from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Five years after the civil war came to an end, Liberia continues to face daunting challenges in many areas. In line with the "One UN" concept, UNMILand all the UN agencies, funds and programmes in the country are accelerating their joint collaboration to support the Liberian Government in meeting these challenges.
The Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the blueprint for the country's recovery efforts, outlines the overall vision and key initiatives for the next three years.
Agriculture Minister, Dr. J. Chris Toe has been giving the latest update on the caterpillar infestation in the country.
The cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe continues to be of high concern for the humanitarian community. A high level UN Humanitarian mission is now in the country to assess and discuss the problem with the national authorities on the way forward to tackle the disease. The joint military operations (DRC and Rwanda) are still on-going in eastern DRC. Security situation in CAR is still a major concern.
- CAR: Security situation in the North is worsening.
L'épidémie de choléra au Zimbabwe continue d'être une grande préoccupation pour la communauté humanitaire. Une mission humanitaire des NU de haut niveau est actuellement dans le pays pour évaluer la situation et discuter du problème avec les autorités nationales afin de contrer la maladie. Les opérations militaires conjointes (RDC et Rwanda) continuent dans l'est de la RDC.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has provided one hundred thousand dollars (US$100,000) to help contain the caterpillar infestation in Liberia.
The Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, His Excellency Ansumana E.
by Lincoln Reeves, Liberian Red Cross Society
In mid-January, six years after the official end of war in Liberia, the local and international media announced a new wave of attacks in Bong County in central Liberia. Thousands of people, including many farmers, have been left with ravaged crops, contaminated water sources, and the threat of food insecurity and waterborne diseases.
But these attacks are unlike any other that Liberians have experienced in the past 14 years.
- The recent caterpillar infestation in
Liberia has caused considerable concern to the rural farming communities,
to the Government of Liberia and the general public. The reasons for this
sudden and unexpected increase in the population of this species of caterpillar
remain obscure. However, it is believed that, perhaps, climate change and
changes in agricultural production and land use patterns may have contributed
to this event.
2. This problem has much wider implications and perspectives well beyond agriculture.
Early indications point to a reduction in global cereal output in 2009 from the previous year's record. Smaller plantings and/or adverse weather look likely to bring grain production down in most of the world's major producers.
In Low-Income Food-Deficit countries, prospects for the early 2009 cereal crops point to a lower output. Good crops are expected in North Africa.
Les opérations militaires conjointes (RDC et Rwanda) continuent toujours avec 65% de réalisation selon le gouvernement de la RDC. La situation sécuritaire en RCA est très préoccupante. L'épidémie de choléra au Zimbabwe n'est pas encore contrôlée mais la situation dans les pays voisins semble sous contrôle.
Situation dans les pays
- Angola: L'épidémie de choléra continue. A la semaine 6, au total 47 cas et 1 décès ont été notifiés. Au 13 février, 320 cas et 2 décès ont été notifiés. Quatre provinces sont touchées.
The joint military operations (DRC and Rwanda) are still on-going with 65% achievement according to the government of DRC. Security situation in CAR is of major concern. Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe not yet controlled but the situation of neighboring countries seems under control.
- Angola: The cholera outbreak is still ongoing. In week 6, a total of 47 cases with 1 death were reported. As of February 13th, 320 cases and 2 deaths were notified. Four provinces are affected*.