IGAD Signs USD 3 Million Grant with World Bank for the Formation of an Inter-Regional Platform on the Management of Desert Locusts

strengthen synergies, sustained management and control of desert locusts in the IGAD region

05 Aug, 2021 Press Release 15

Nairobi, 05th of August, 2021: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has signed a three year, 3 million USD grant with the World Bank to set up an Inter-Regional Platform for the Sustainable Management of Desert Locusts and other Trans-Boundary Pests. The grant is part of the World Bank's Emergency Locust Response Program Phase 3 (SSELRP) and is expected to run until August 2024.  

The overall goal of the Platform is to strengthen synergies, sustained management and control of desert locusts and other transboundary pests in the IGAD region. The platform will be extended not only to IGAD member states, but to all countries affected by the desert locusts and other trans-boundary pests. Operationalization of the platform will be conducted in partnership with the Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) and the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC). 

Key deliverables under the grant include:

  • Guidelines for national preparedness plans for desert locust invasion to support IGAD member states.
  • Support to member states to finalize their national preparedness plans.
  • Development of a regional preparedness plan agreed with the member states. 
  • Development and dissemination of knowledge management and  communication products targeting member states, donors, and other stakeholders.   

The Inter-Regional Platform will provide an effective and well-coordinated early warning system for continuous intensive surveillance and monitoring of desert locusts and other trans-boundary pests, for example, of locust breeding areas as well as ground and aerial control operations in order to detect and neutralize hopper bands or adult swarms in time. Thus preventing more swarms from forming and ensuring the safe application of pesticides. Through the platform, management and prevention measures will be put in place, rather than merely the current reactive control measures.  

Media Requests  

  • Wawira Njoka: ICPAC: wawira.njoka@igad.int
  • Mahamed A. Abdillahi: IGAD Secretariat: mahamed.abdillahi@igad.int

Resources   

Note to editors: The East Africa region has been grappling with swarms of desert locusts since 2019. Mature DL swarms from Yemen crossed the Gulf of Aden and arrived in northeast Ethiopia and northern Somalia. At the time, the weather and ecological conditions of the IGAD region were unusually favourable, contributing to the worst desert locust upsurge in over 25 years. Capable of reproducing rapidly and traversing long distances, the locusts spread across the Greater Horn of Africa in vast numbers and established themselves rapidly in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, the Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, where they damaged crops, pasture and other vegetation. 

Disjointed action has been attempted before, to manage desert locusts and other trans-boundary pests with relatively little success. The interest in and funds for control and related operations tend to grow during severe outbreaks, upsurges or plagues. This lack of sustained interest or engagement often results in diminished capacity for control, with state and non-state teams responsible for locust control often being ill-equipped and ill-prepared for quick responses before the problem becomes difficult to control. Each time an upsurge or infestation begins, frantic efforts, with little coordination, readiness, or institutional memory cause considerable delay which in turn increases response costs exponentially.

Tags: Early Warning , Desert Locust , Early Action , Desert Locust Invasion