East Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Mar 2017Ongoing
As millions of east African farmers seek to recover from a devastating drought, they face a new threat – the fall armyworm. The pest has been recently detected in Kenya and is suspected to have entered the country from Uganda. It is also known to be present in Burundi, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The fall armyworm was first reported in western Kenya by farmers in March 2017, and immediately confirmed by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation. The initial counties infested were Busia, TransNzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu and Nandi. (FAO, 25 Apr 2017)
As of 23 May, Fall Armyworm has affected more than 143,000 hectares of land in major maize and wheat-producing counties [in Kenya]. [FAO] and the Ministry of Agriculture have adopted a planning response figure of 800,000 hectares, which requires US$33.5 million for pesticides and awareness campaigns in the medium term. US$6.6 million is required for an immediate response. (OCHA, UNCT Kenya, 23 May 2017)
In collaboration with [FAO] and other development partners, the Government of Ethiopia has intensified efforts to protect major maize growing areas from the ravage of the fall armyworm. The fall armyworm, which first arrived in Africa in 2016, was intercepted on a few hectares of irrigated maize fields in southern Ethiopia in the last week of February 2017. It has now covered about 52 962 hectares in 144 districts in three of the major maize-growing regional states – Gambella, Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR)...The Government of Ethiopia allocated nearly USD 2 million to tackle the problem. (FAO, 30 May 2017)
[F]all armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country's 111 districts are affected. (FAO, 14 Jul 2017)
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• Average harvests expected: Rains have been above average in January, ending the December dry spell, which is likely to lead to average Season 2018A harvests, already underway. Most poor households are expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2); however, in Gihanga Commune in Bubanza Province, maize production is likely to be below average due to a more severe dry spell and Fall Armyworm infestations, causing some poor households to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through the lean season in May.
BALTIMORE, Dec. 20, 2017 - Lutheran World Relief (LWR), an international NGO working to develop sustainable solutions to poverty, has released its 2018 Early Warning Forecast of regions it is monitoring for potential or worsening humanitarian crises over the coming year: 11 Humanitarian Hotspots for the World to Watch
Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, LWR president & CEO, noted that armed conflict is a thread running through the world's current crises.
- Tanzania’s ban on maize grain exports to assure the country’s food security and to encourage value addition through exports of flour, would likely move regional cross-border trade to informal channels because of porous borders, and increase the maize export prices because of additional of costs of circumventing the ban.
Increase in need: 3.5 million people are now affected by drought, an increase from 2.7 million in May. The new statistics are a result of an assessment by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group covering 14 of the 23 arid and semi-arid lands counties. A total of Kshs. 11.1 billion (US $10.6 million) will be required for response measures between July and December 2017.
Rising needs: Following poor performing spring rains, the number of people receiving humanitarian assistance has increased from 5.6 million to 7.8 million in the first quarter of the year, and is expected to heighten further in the second half of the year. Increased funding is needed urgently, to address immediate requirements for food and nutrition, as well as clean drinking water.
In early May, long rains arrived in parts of Kenya after a 2-month delay, as long rains usually begin in March. Heavy rainfall caused flooding in some areas of the country. The food security needs remain, since not all parts of the country received rain. The prognosis is that the long rains will have minimal impact on crop production.
The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia is worsening. By the end of April, 7.8 million people are in need humanitarian assistance a 39% increase.
• Kenya is currently experiencing delayed onset of long rains as well as inadequate rainfall where it has rained. Dry conditions across the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), are negatively impacting livestock productivity, and delaying land preparations and planting, further affecting the food security situation.
• The persistent drought in the lowland areas of Ethiopia has increased the vulnerability of the population prompting the government to revise the number of people requiring emergency food aid from 5.6 million to 7.7 million.
• The Government of Ethiopia has declared an outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) in Somali region and fears it could spread to other drought affected regions. The Ministry of Health has called for increased engagement of humanitarian partners to stem the situation.
Maize grain was the most informally traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the first quarter of 2017 accounting for 33 percent of total trade, but volumes traded in the region were lower when compared to 2013-2016 average due to tight supplies following below average harvests across most countries.