GAROWE (SD) – Somalia will soon be able to assess the situation of locust invasion in the horn of African nation thanks to a newly established monitoring in northeastern Somalia.
The centre was opened to monitor and control Desert Locust in Somalia.
The centre, which is based in Qardho, Bari Region will not only serve Puntland but will also act as the National Desert Locust Early Warning and Control base.
The construction of the centre was implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and generously funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UKaid) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through two projects in support of the Desert Locust response to mitigate impacts of Desert Locusts on food security and livelihoods in the region.
The opening of the centre was commissioned by the President of Puntland State of Somalia, Said Abdullahi Deni and the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation, Said Hussein Iid.
Also present at the ceremony was FAO’s Representative in Somalia, Mr. Etienne Peterschmitt, the Acting Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Climate Change of Puntland, Abdirashid Ali Gelle, the Minister of Agriculture, Plant and Forestry of Galmudug, Ahmednoor Hajji Osman, the Minister of Agriculture.
Other attendees were Irrigation of Hirshabelle, Mohamed Omar Aymooy, the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation of South West State, Mustaf Ahmed Idow, the Karkaar Regional Governor of Puntland, Abdi Said Osman, the Mayor of Qardho, Hon. Mohamed Farah Abdi, the Director of DLCO-EA, Dr Stephen, and the acting Executive Chairman of DLCO, Collins Murangu.
The worst Desert Locust crisis in decades hit the Greater Horn of Africa in late 2019, where tens of thousands of hectares of cropland and pasture have been damaged.
The invasion has had severe consequences for agriculture-based livelihoods in contexts where food security is already fragile with Somalia one of the worst hit countries.
In Somalia, where vast majority of people depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods, recurrent drought and floods have resulted in significant impacts on household food security, and the desert locust crisis has exacerbated the crisis, increasing the severity of the threat to rural families.