Situation Update: Locust Crisis in Madagascar - 31 July 2015

Situation Update: Locust Crisis in Madagascar - 31 July 2015
Jul 2015

Locust situation

In June and July 2015, the arrival of the dry and cold season was confirmed across the Island. Temperatures decreased and there was no or little rain, which slowed down the development of the Malagasy Migratory Locust.

Grouped populations of the Malagasy Migratory Locust in the form of light flights or swarms of an average size of 100 ha were present at the borders of the Outbreak (western and central sectors of the Transitory Outbreak Area and northern sector of the Initial Multiplication Area) and Invasion areas (Middle-­southern and Middle-­western sectors of the Central Invasion Area). Instar hopper patches and bands were still present around mid-­July in the central sector of the Transitory Outbreak Area and in the Hautes-­Terres zone of the Central Invasion Area. At the end of July, few grouped adult populations persisted in the above-‐ mentioned areas; they will be localized and controlled. Furthermore, mixed scattered populations of the Malagasy Migratory Locust and of the Red Locust, which are not targets for control operations but will be monitored, have been observed during the first ten days of July in the central sectors of the Transitory Outbreak Area and of the Initial Multiplication Area.

Response

2nd locust campaign (September 2014 – August 2015): From 1 to 12 July 2015, the mobile base was deployed to Miandrivazo (1 to 8 July), Ihosy (9 to 11 July), then to Toliara when the helicopter was demobilized. The ground team continued its activities in the Miandrivazo and Mandoto areas. The ground team previously assigned to Base 2 continued to survey and carry out limited control operations in the Ihosy area. The activities of these two teams will continue at least until 15 August 2015. Since the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign until 20 July, locust infestations have been controlled over an area of 639 000 ha. On 24 June 2015, at the end of the mission of the Campaign Coordinator, a debriefing meeting was organized to present the preliminary results of campaign 2 to the national authorities and technical and financial partners, who unanimously recognized the success of that campaign. From 24 June to 11 July 2015, an international Locust consultant carried out a mission in Madagascar in order to assess the quality and effectiveness of the 2014/15 campaign and the final report of his mission will be distributed in the coming weeks. The Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, jointly carried out by FAO and WFP in collaboration with the Ministry for Agriculture, is currently ongoing and particular attention will be given to assessing the damages caused by locusts.

Preparedness for the 3rd locust campaign (September 2015 – June 2016): In order to ensure the pre-­‐positioning of all inputs required to resume field activities at the end of the winter period, preparatory activities for the 3rd campaign are underway. These include: (i) the launch of tenders for helicopter services and related logistics, the procurement of pesticides and equipment; (ii) the recruitment of the identified technical experts and pesticide analyses in view of the triangulation process and extension of the validity of some stockpiles.