Fana: At a Speed of Life!

IGAD directs partner states to institute desert locust control

Addis Ababa, August 11, 2023 (FBC) – The Inter-governmental Authority on Development’s council of ministers urged the member states to set up desert locust invasion control.

The ministers made the call in their meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on August 9, 2023, where they discussed ways to combat climate change and food insecurity in support of the decision of the 34th Extraordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government that was held on February 9, 2020, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“The IGAD Council of Ministers on the desert locust invasion calls upon member states to act collectively through IGAD and join forces with neighbors and relevant agencies, including the Desert Locust Control Organization of Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) towards the total eradication of this pest and address the broader aspects of climate change in the region,” the joint communiqué read in part.

Also, it urged the member states to strengthen capacity building in predicting, monitoring and controlling the spread of desert locusts across the region.

The council of ministers further called upon the development partners to build the financial, technical, and logistical capacities of IGAD member states to enable them to fight locust invasions.

“The IGAD Council of Ministers called on development partners to build the requisite financial, technical, and logistical capacities of IGAD member states, and support ongoing efforts to effectively fight the locust invasion,” it added.

In November 2022, a swarm of locusts infested parts of Lafon County in Eastern Equatoria State, spreading shock waves among farmers.

Kasiano Logie Peter, a farmer residing at Arilo Payam in Lafon County, said the desert locusts had destroyed the farms.

“They came from the side of the Kapoeta North County and entered the farms, and what’s in the farms at the moment is not yet ready for harvest,” Kasiano said.

He called upon the government to step in to end the desert locust infestation so farmers could succeed in food production and combat hunger.

“I am worried about hunger, let it not be like last year, when people were forced to flee to Juba and many people lost children to abduction.”

“We need our government and the partners to take urgent measures for these locusts because only [it is only] a few people will harvest them, and we are worried about hunger.”

Magisto Ukach, the commissioner of Lafon County, could not confirm the total number of farms destroyed by desert locusts, citing poor network connections in Lafon to get the correct reports.

“For sure there is no good report I am finding about the number of farms destroyed in the area due to poor network,” said Ukach.


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