Desert Locusts to Threaten Crops in the Sahel Region–International Assistance Badly Needed

by FAO Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS)

FAO, Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS), June 2, 2004)

Bulletin: Swarms Expected to Form in NW Africa and Move to Sahel

Locust_giews

Although control operations have treated more this year than at any time since the last plague in 1987-89, the Desert Locust situation continues to be very worrying. Numerous swarms are expected to form in the coming weeks in NW Africa from any hopper bands that escape the intensive aerial and ground control operations currently underway in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. These swarms will invade the Sahel in West Africa during June and July and lay eggs in areas that receive rain in southern Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad. These will be supplemented by adult groups and swarms that form in currently infested areas in northern Mauritania and Niger. Crops planted on the first rains may be threatened. During June, there is also a risk of swarms appearing in northern Senegal. Some swarms could also reach western Sudan. Appropriate preparations should be made immediately in these countries.

Photo: FAO/GIEWS

Sorghum Damage in N.W. Mauritania, January, 2004.

International assistance is desperately required to supplement major efforts already underway and to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

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