Executive Brief: Desert Locust threat in the Sahel 2012 (31 July 2012)
Heavy rains continue to be recorded in Desert Locust breeding areas in northern Mali and northern Niger.
Egg-laying started in the north of Niger and Mali, where hatching and hopper band formation are expected.
14 survey teams are currently being mobilized in Niger.
Mali has mobilized 5 survey teams in accessible and secure areas in the centre, and contacts are ongoing to undertake an extensive survey in Adrar des Iforas and Tamesna in the coming days.
Funds are urgently required so that national locusts control units can carry out the required operations and FAO can ensure proper overall emergency campaign coordination.
Action must be taken now to protect summer crops, contribute to food and nutrition security, safeguard the environment and reduce potential swarm migration to neighbouring countries.
The first contribution of USD 550 000 has been confirmed on 31 July 2012 from the Government of France.
The Desert Locust situation remains potentially dangerous. Adults locusts that arrived last month from Algeria and Libya and that have spread throughout northern Mali and Niger have matured and started laying eggs. Some infestations were reported further south, in the cropping areas of central and southern Niger, between Tanout and Zinder, where good rains recently fell. Hatching and formation of hopper bands are expected during August. From 5 to 25 June, national teams treated almost 1 200 hectares of land in Niger.
Niger. The National Locust Control Centre has mobilized survey and control teams since June and is mobilizing additional ones; 14 teams will soon be operational in the field, 6 in the north and 8 in the center (in the cropping areas). Support is required urgently to enhance their capacity to intervene on a larger scale.
Mali. Operations are limited in the North owing to insecurity. Nevertheless, 5 teams have been mobilized in accessible and secure areas. Support is required to increase the National Desert Locust Control Centre’s capacity to undertake survey and control operations. Survey operations are in progress in Algeria, Chad and Mauritania.
Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco have been invited to prepare to a potential invasion this autumn based on their National Contingency Plans.
Pesticide air-lifting from donor countries towards affected ones, planned for the month of August, is currently under preparation in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP).
The scale of control operations after the summer depends on rainfall, locust breeding and control operations in the next two months.
Niger and Mali: Current mission of Annie Monard, Response Coordinator (Niger and Mali) and of Dominique Menon (Niger) to support the national response to the crisis.
Niger and Chad: 2 current 2-week missions of 2 Locust Control campaign coordinators.