Category: Integrity of creation

Locust Outbreaks Threaten Food Security in Southern Africa

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome)

Accra, 4 September 2020

Immediate action can prevent disaster in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Outbreaks of African Migratory Locust (AML) are threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of people in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today at the launch of an emergency response effort to control the swarms.

Around 7 million people in the four affected countries who are still recovering from the impact of the 2019 drought, and grappling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, could experience further food and nutrition insecurity.

FAO is working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) to support the governments of the affected countries to control the locusts.

“Even with the control measures already taken, the locusts are still a threat. Some of the worst-affected areas are very difficult to reach. We need to support the four governments, SADC and partner organisations like IRLCO-CSA to control this pest and protect people’s livelihoods,” Patrice Talla, FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Southern Africa said.

Threatening food security

The AML outbreaks in southern Africa are separate to the Desert Locust emergency in eastern Africa. Locusts are among the most destructive pests in the world. One swarm can contain tens of millions of adults – there are currently multiple swarms in the southern region. A single swarm can eat as much in one day as 2,500 people, demolishing crops and livestock pasture in a matter of hours.

In Botswana, some smallholder farmers lost their entire crop at the start of the African Migratory Locust outbreak. As the next planting season approaches, the pest threatens the country’s breadbasket region of Pandamatenga, where most of the country’s sorghum staple is grown, unless control efforts are urgently stepped up.

In Namibia, initial outbreaks began in the Zambezi plains and hopper bands and swarms have now spread to key farming regions. Similarly, in Zambia, the locust has spread rapidly and is affecting both crop and grazing lands.

In Zimbabwe, swarms and hoppers initially infested two sites in the Chiredzi District and have now moved into Manicaland Province. Locust damage to crops will compound existing food insecurity in communities already affected by floods, drought and the impacts of COVID-19.

A united effort

FAO today launched the Southern Africa Emergency Locust Response and Preparedness Project which is funded by FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme. The project will increase the emergency capacity of SADC and IRLCO-CSA to support the four affected member states in their bid to prevent the pest from causing more damage.

The US$0.5 million project will focus on emergency response in the locust hotspots and strengthen coordination and information exchange among the affected countries. It will also enable aerial surveillance and mapping activities in hard-to-reach areas, and provide technical support for national locust surveillance and control units to be established.

FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme allows FAO to draw from its own regular programme resources to respond to countries’ most pressing needs for technical assistance.


Locusts threaten parts of southern Africa, UN says

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See the Documentary Video on YouTube: The Earth Our Home – conservation for integrity of creation

The Earth our Home -

Link: Documentary Video: The Earth Our Home – conservation for integrity of creation

Integrity of Creation in Kasamba, Zambia

integrity-of-creation-01blogBy Benjamin Itungabose, M.Afr

Like elsewhere the phenomenon of deforestation raises a lot of concerns in Zambia. People cut down trees for various reasons. Due to the current electricity problems in cities people use charcoal as their source of energy more than ever before. Hence burning charcoal has become the main source of income for people in rural areas. Thousands of bags of charcoal are taken to Lusaka and Copperbelt day and night. Luapula province which used to be a land of vegetation is gradually losing its identity.

As Missionaries of Africa working in Kasamba, we felt that we had to do something about this phenomenon. In view of raising awareness about the care of our environment, last year we undertook a tree planting project in our Parish. So far we have planted about 3,500 pine trees. We wish to extend this project to at least 10,000 trees in the coming years.

What is more encouraging is that the people of Kasamba are now becoming aware of the importance of planting trees. At the end of last year Caritas Mansa gave to each parish 200 seedlings of pine trees to give to their members.  Personally I was amazed to see how people literally fought over those seedlings. Because of this increasing interest in planting trees we are planning together with the Justice and Peace group of Kasamba to have a seminar about how to make nurseries in order to produce more seedlings. In this way we hope that our mission of caring for our environment will extend to the entire Parish and hopefully to the entire Diocese.


This article was translated into French on ‘Église & Écologie’ (E&E) blog. Please, click on the link or on the logo for more information.


FORETS – Donne nous nos pins quotidiens

Publié le 26 février 2017

La Zambie est, elle aussi, touchée par la déforestation. Des religieux missionnaires d’Afrique ont décidé de réagir, du côté de Kasamba. Ils témoignent de leur mobilisation sur leur site (en anglais)

« Les gens coupent les arbres pour différentes raisons. Du fait des coupures d’électricité dans les villes, les gens utilisent le charbon de bois comme source d’énergie plus que jamais. De plus, ce charbon de bois devient ainsi la principale source de revenus dans les zones rurales. Des milliers de chargements de charbon de bois sont emmenés vers Lusaka et Copperbelt, jour et nuit. Du coup, la province de Luapula qui était une terre de végétation, est en train de perdre son identité. Comme missionnaires d’Afrique travaillant à Kasamba, nous avons ressenti que nous devions faire quelque chose. Pour faire grandir la prise de conscience sur les défis de la protection de l’environnement, nous avons entrepris depuis un an un projet de reforestation dans notre paroisse. Nous avons déjà planté 3500 arbres et nous espérons arriver à 10 000 dans les années à venir. Ce qui est le plus encourageant, c’est que les gens de Kasamba commencent à comprendre notre démarche. A la fin de l’année dernière, l’association Caritas Mansa a donné 200 plants de pins à chaque paroisse, pour les distribuer à leurs membres. J’étais étonné de voir comment les gens se sont disputés pour en avoir. Nous envisageons maintenant d’organiser un colloque pour créer une pépinière pour produire davantage de plants. Nous espérons ainsi que notre soin de l’environnement sera repris pour toute la paroisse voire notre diocèse en entier. »

m-afr-logo-web-romeÉgalement disponible sur le site des Missionnaires d’Afrique à Rome :

Intégrité de la Création à Kasamba (Zambie)

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