The Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers responsible for disaster risk management have called for the engagement of international partners to support the region in controlling the spread of red and desert locusts.
In a communique issued on Friday night at the end of their one-day meeting in the Zanzibar archipelago, the ministers said the advance of the migratory pests could have serious implications for the food security of the region of a combined population of 345 million.
The ministers noted with concern the emergency of crop pests and diseases such as red and desert locusts have contributed to the deteriorating food security situation in the region.
They urged the 16 SADC member countries to remain vigilant and work together and share information to jointly control the advance of the migratory pests.
They made the appeal to the international partners as swarms of the desert locusts were ravaging East Africa where the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warned of a food crisis in the region.
The ministers urged SADC member countries to timely share national data on weather and climate, according to the communique.
The ministers also urged SADC member countries to continue developing capacities in vulnerability assessments and analysis, including incorporation of emerging sectors that show susceptibility to climate and natural disaster risks.
They also called for the need to continue supporting each other and vulnerable communities that have been affected by disasters as well as accelerating implementation of resilience building initiatives, improving early warning and response, and contingency planning to minimize the impacts of future climatic disasters. Enditem