November 19, 2013

SADC Member States Updates


According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a locust control campaign is starting in Madagascar against a plague of the Malagasy Migratory Locust, which threatens the food security and livelihoods of nearly 60 percent of the population.
This is the first of three successive locust control campaigns that will take place between September 2013 and September 2016 as indicated in a three-year programme, jointly prepared by FAO and the Madagascar Ministry of Agriculture.
The programme is expected to be implemented and coordinated by FAO in close collaboration with the government and in particular the Ministry of Agriculture. It will eventually treat over 2 million hectares of infested areas. The campaigns focus on:

  • Improving the monitoring and analysis of the locust situation;
  • Aerial control operations;
  • Monitoring and mitigating the impact of control operations on human health and the environment;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of each locust campaign and the impact of locusts on crops and pastures. 

The locust plague started in April 2012. Vast swarms of the highly mobile insect have damaged large areas of cropped land and pastures. Damage to cereal crops, including rice, the main food staple, and maize, were estimated as much as 70 percent in some regions.
Off-season production is expected to have decreased compared to previous years as farmers are reluctant to plant because of the locust threat.


Government of Namibia has given a house to former Zambian President Mr. Kenneth Kaunda. This house was previously used as accommodation for judges and expatriate senior public prosecutors. According to The Namibian, the house would be handed over before the end of the year.
This is the second honour for Kaunda who also has a street named after him in Windhoek.


On September 26, at least 13 people, most of them small children aged between two and five, drowned and seven others were missing after a boat with 30 people capsized on Lake Tanganyika, Tanzanian police said. The 11 children were travelling to a clinic in a nearby village in the south of the country to get vaccinated. Ten of the 30 passengers swam to shore or were rescued.


According to Associated Press, at least 81 elephants have been killed for their ivory tusks by poachers using cyanide poison in water holes in Hwange National Park. According to Mr Walter Mzembi, Tourism Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, , more elephant carcasses were discovered after a first count of more than 40 earlier in the month. Wildlife department officials said industrial cyanide, used in gold mining, was put in the park's remote water holes, killing smaller animals drinking there and vultures and other predators feeding on the dead animals. Nine alleged poachers were arrested after rangers tracked them to a cache of ivory hidden in the park. Zimbabwe's state media reported on Tuesday that newly-appointed Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has vowed harsher jail penalties for poachers.