Launch Ceremony of Phase II Aerial Control of Desert Locust Control in Somaliland at Egal International Airport in Hargeisa on 3 October 2020

The desert locust upsurge in east Africa in 2019 and 2020 was the largest upsurge in last twenty-five years. Somaliland was one of the places devastated by desert locust in both the years. FAO decided to support the Somaliland and Somalia on regional approach basis in controlling as well as reducing the effect of DL on food security in the country.
Following finalization of the first round of Aerial Spray activities with 2 Helicopters for 3-4 months and Ground Control on Desert Locust, the Somaliland Minister of Agriculture Development and the FAO Somaliland Office Manager officially launched the second round of Aerial Desert Locust operation with 3 Aircraft including 1 fixed-wings 2 Helicopters in the presence of the General Dire tor of Civil Aviation and Airports and Senior Technical teams from FAO & the Ministry Agriculture Development.
The purpose of the second round is to fight against the waves of desert locust swans crossing the borders into Somaliland from neighboring countries and the the expectation for the existing hoppers to be hatched soon based on the conductive breading environment due to the major rains received
The Hon. minister Ahmed Mumin Seed and and FAO Hargeisa office Manager gave brief speech during ceremony.
The minister first of all appreciated the efforts of FAO on DL surveillance and control in the country. FAO equipped the ministry with all the necessary equipments such as Lascrusers, vehicle-mounted sprayers, backpack sprayers, biopesticides, protective clothing etc. said the minister.
In addition, FAO hired two helicopters in the first and today we are launching second phase with these aircrafts(one fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters). This is to increase capacity of the government in containing the invasion of DL in the country, said the minister.
I also thank the donors of USAID, World bank and CERF for their funding support in order to combat the desert locust and to build Ministry capacity many ways to enable us to defend our farmers from the serious invasion of DL, Said the minister.
The FAO Somaliland Office Manager appreciated the tireless efforts of FAO Senior Management team lead by Etienne Peterschmitt on the desert locust in this country from last year till now. He also appreciated the Donors including USAID, WB & CERF for their generosity aiming to prevent the food insecurity and to prevent from the poor farmers and pastoralists
He also commended the MoAD fir their best cooperation and commitments to meet these important activities. He mentioned the higher capacity of the fixed wing aircraft which can travel long distances, carry more biopesticides for spraying faster than the previous ones. These aircrafts can be used for both survey and control activities.