N'djamena — Chad has eliminated the threat of a full-scale locust invasion in its northern region, a pastoralist zone dotted with oases that provide water for small-scale farming, says the National Locust Control Agency (ANLA).
"If we hadn't prevented the locust infestation, pasture and farms would have been devastated and there would have been famine," said ANLA's Rassei Neldjibaye.
Control operations and dryer weather in recent months have reduced locust numbers across the Sahel. Only scattered and lone adult hoppers were observed in a few areas in northern Chad, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said in a recent update.
Neldjibaye said plans were in place for future pest control operations targeting either 50,000 or 100,000 hectares "in case of an invasion".
Reaching the remote locust breeding zones is often difficult due to poor roads (or their absence), as well as huge sand dunes and mountains. Some areas along the Chad and Libyan border and sites of past conflict are also mined.
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. ]