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GIEWS Update-detail

Desert Locusts Mixed picture in the Sahel
Sahel - Overall, agricultural production in the nine CILSS countries is expected to be close to the five-year average. However, the country-by-country situation is quite mixed. Mauritania, already beset by several years of unfavourable rainfall and low production, has born the brunt of desert locust damage --the swarms stayed there much longer than anywhere else. Cape Verde will be facing a larger than usual food deficit. In addition, many areas in the northern part of most countries suffered from a combination of drought and locust attacks. Pastoral and agro-pastoral groups have, therefore, been especially hard hit. With scarce pasture and water, the early southern movement of livestock herds has already started, leading to serious confrontations in a number of locales. Urgent action is needed to establish safe passage areas for livestock and to vaccinate animals on their way to southern pastures. In addition to food assistance to the most vulnerable populations, many farming families will need seeds and other inputs for off-season agriculture, and even for the next main growing season. Continued monitoring and preparation for desert locust control is also needed; if good rains fall, swarms are likely to return to the Sahel next year unless Winter/Spring control in north west Africa is fully effective.