Mauritania

Mauritania is holding its breath! Status report on the locust invasion in Mauritania

In July, random flight of locusts provoked fears of a more serious locust invasion with swarms of young locusts gradually forming towards the south of the country. Oxfam's observations this month are even more alarming, with large dense clouds of mature yellow locusts sighted in the Male and Aleg districts.

The impact on this year's crops will be devastating. Sorghum and millet seedlings are set to germinate within the next two weeks and they are certain to fall prey to the locusts. At a time when there is a real need to bridge the hunger gap, the partial or total loss of agricultural crops will have widespread implications on the food security of communities in the Aftout region.

The situation is the same in Affolé and throughout Mauritania. However, in spite of the severity of the situation and the Government's call for assistance to the international community over ten days ago, there are still insufficient resources to fight against the invasion.

To date, Mauritania has received six equipped vehicles from Libya, three teams of specialists from Morocco and pesticides from Algeria. Fortunately, the fighting equipment proved to be efficient against the swarm of locusts that invaded the capital, Nouakchott on the 4th and 5th of August.

Observers have unanimously called for coordinated action at regional level to end the scourge that threatens to wipe out the livelihoods of farmers and cattle breeders.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is preparing to visit the field to analyze the tangible impact of this danger. Mauritania is holding its breath!