Southern Africa: Locust Infestation - Sep 2020

Status
Alert
Glide
IN-2020-000223-ZMB

Disaster description

Outbreaks of African Migratory Locust (AML) are threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of people in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today at the launch of an emergency response effort to control the swarms. Around 7 million people in the four affected countries who are still recovering from the impact of the 2019 drought, and grappling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, could experience further food and nutrition insecurity. FAO is working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) to support the governments of the affected countries to control the locusts. (FAO, 4 Sep 2020)

FAO promotes preventive strategies for locust management, which rely on early warning and early reactions. Delaying the response would prove more costly financially, environmentally, socially and economically. The build-up and spread of the pest could exacerbate the impacts of COVID-19 and threaten the next planting season. Urgent actions are needed to identify locust hotspots and ensure the pest is controlled in them. The capacity of countries to monitor the spread of the pest through regular surveillance and mapping should be enhanced in order to increase their ability to take timely and anticipatory action to prevent the pest from causing serious damage to crops and pastures. (FAO, 21 Sep 2020)

Recent outbreaks of African Migratory Locusts (AMLs) across Southern Africa are threatening 2021 production and compounding the existing challenges caused by floods, drought, and impacts of COVID-19. Both AMLs and red locust hoppers were reported in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (GEOGLAM, 8 Oct 2020)

In Zambia the outbreak of the AML affects parts of Central, Southern and Western Provinces. Affected districts include Shibuyunji, Mumbwa, Itezhi-tezhi, Kazungula, Namwala, Sesheke, Nalolo, Mongu, Mwandi, Kalabo, Senanga and Sioma. The invasion has become very serious in Sesheke, Mwandi and Sioma in Western and Kazungula in Southern Provinces. The outbreak of the locusts has the potential to disrupt the 2020/2021 agricultural season that is due to start in October/November and thereby affect household and national food security. (FAO, 26 Oct 2020)

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