Tsetse free areas

Tsetse and trypanosomosis (sleeping sickness) is a contributing factor to perpetuating food insecurity and rural poverty, therefore tsetse eradication is assuming increasing importance within Africa. Tsetse eradication can have a major impact on socio-economic development by increasing land available for agricultural exploitation as well the accruing benefit of livestock development.

Tsetse flies (Glossina spp) transmit a devastating disease, trypanosomiasis, which attacks the blood and nervous system of its victims and can lead to death. The disease is known as sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. It is present in 37 sub-Saharan African countries, covers nearly 9 million km2 and threatens about 60 million people and 48 million cattle. It is a painful and debilitating disease which causes untold suffering in humans and eventually death and it is one of the most important constraints to agricultural development in the sub-humid and humid zones of Africa.

tsetse map

image source: http://www.indiana.edu

Sleeping sickness was under control in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. However, the last two decades have seen the disease spread to epidemic proportions due to the breakdown of control programmes causing a public health crisis in many affected areas (Smith et al., 1998), thus the urgency of its control. Equally urgent is the control of the animal disease, which causes direct losses estimated at US$ 1.2 billion every year. If the goal of poverty reduction and food security is to be achieved, this major constraint to rural development has to be removed.

In response to the tsetse problem, the African Heads of State endorsed a campaign that would seek to eliminate the tsetse from Africa, the Pan African Tsetse Eradication Campaign (PATTEC). PATTEC is one of the programmes approved by the African Union under the NEPAD Initiative.

The “Creation of Sustainable Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Free Areas in West and East Africa” is a first phase project of the 37-country PATTEC programme. The programme strategy is based on the adoption of an area-wide approach for integrated pest management where conventional methods are used in combination with the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to eliminate tsetse.

Phase I of this programme is a UA54.96 millions (USD80.11 millions) project, which aims to create sustainable tsetse-and-trypanosomiasis-free areas in six countries, namely: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. The project is an intervention in support of the eradication of tsetse and trypanosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa, by integrating suppression, control and eradication technologies while ensuring that the reclaimed areas are equitably, sustainably and economically utilized.

The project, which will be implemented over a period of six years, starting in 2005, is jointly financed by the African Development Fund and the participating six countries. At the end of project implementation, 13 million hectares will be freed from tsetse and trypanosomiasis infestation. The project appraisal report can be accessed at http://www.afdb.org/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/ADB_ADMIN_PG/DOCUMENTS/OPERATIONSINFORMATION/PATTEC%20ENG.PDF

The Project has been classified as Category I for environmental assessment purposes and accordingly a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been carried out.

A multidisciplinary consultant team comprised of an environmentalist, an entomologist and an ecologist was contracted to carry out the ESIA. A mission was undertaken to the six countries selected for participation in the Phase I project. During the field visits, extensive consultation was carried out with government representatives including those responsible for agriculture, livestock and environment. Interviews with officers responsible for tsetse control programme in each country, researchers and others concerned with trypanosomiasis and tsetse (T&T) control as well as meetings with farmers in infested areas in each of the countries.


The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Summary document has reference N° ADF/BD/IF/2004/109 dated 12 and 28 July 2004 for respectively English and French versions.

The Environmental and Social Management Plan Summary is presented in ANNEX VIII of the appraisal report.