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The Vice President of Somaliland, along with Ezana Kassa, head of programme of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), has officially opened the first pest control centre in Hargeisa, Somaliland, which will act as desert locust early warning and control base

AdobeStock 65551479The centre will build local capacity to manage desert locusts in the future. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The construction of the centre was implemented by the FAO and generously funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through two projects in support of the desert locust emergency response to mitigate impacts of desert locusts on food security and livelihoods in Somaliland. 

“We thank all those who made this possible, particularly FAO, the donors who funded these projects and the Ministry of Agricultural Development,” said Abdirahman Saylici, Vice President of Somaliland, at the official opening of the centre. He added that the centre is an important facility to battle food insecurity, a threat that has increased in part due to desert locusts which can have a severe negative effect on productivity.

The choice of Hargeisa to host this important facility was informed by the fact that the hinterland of Somaliland, extending from Zeylac to Berbera, is one of the most ideal breeding grounds in the Horn of Africa, which is regularly invaded by mature locust swarms from the Arabian Peninsula.

Early action taken in Somaliland will definitely be a game changer by helping to prevent future upsurges and protecting the livelihoods of millions of vulnerable communities in the entire eastern Africa region.