The Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) is a Regional pest and vector management organization established by an International Convention signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1962. This followed the recommendation in October, 1961 by the 3 rd Session of the FAO Eastern Africa Desert Locust Control Sub-Committee, which had met in Addis Ababa. The Headquarters are located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Member countries, which are represented by the Ministries of Agriculture/Livestock, are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, covering a land surface area of about 6,157,725 sq.kms, with an estimated population of 180 million.
The Organization has Country Liaison Offices or Control Reserve Bases, and enjoys Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities accorded to the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations, in all its Member countries. It issues a recognized travel document (Diplomatic and Ordinary Laissez-Passer ) to its staff, to facilitate cross-border travels while on official duty.
The Organization maintains its own fleet of fixed wing Aircraft for crops spraying and HF Base radio and mobile (vehicle-mounted) transmitter/receiver sets with approved frequencies for official communication in the region. Pest and weather information and data are therefore routinely exchanged; while Aircraft movement is also monitored and contact maintained during field operations or transit flights.
Initially, the Organization was mandated to promote control operations and forecast techniques against upsurges and plagues of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Foreskal). Later, the mandate was extended to include better management of infestations of other migratory pests, such as the larvae of the African Armyworm moth Spodoptera exempta (Walker). the Grain-eating birds Quelea quelea (Linnaeus) and the Tsetse fly that transmits the deadly human sleeping sickness, Trypanasomiasis or Nagana to livestock .
The 50th Anniversary of DLCO-EA was celebrated colorfully at the new African Union Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 22nd September, 2012, where, the Guest of Honour was H.E. Mr. Tefera Deribew, Minister of Agriculture, Ethiopia The celebrations included Panel discussion, other activities were Photo Exhibition, Launching the DLCO-EA Commemoration Book, Birth Day Cake Cutting Ceremony, and presentation of Certificate of Merit and presents to 3 Members of staff who have served the Organization for over 40 years.
The Council of Ministers, Executive Committee Members, Resident Ambassadors of DLCO-EA Member Countries. Development Partners, DLCO-EA staff and invited guests participated in the 50th Anniversary celebrations.