Regina Davis, Richard Harris
Meeting about impact of locusts. Includes French language and room sounds.
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
19 Oct 2004
- Possibly Dakar?
- 14.6862587 -17.4470615
Decoded MS stereo
Log of DAT #5
0:10 walking, moving around, talking
0:15 moving around, talking
0:25 talking, moving around
1:40 talking, moving around, crickets in background
1:58 CHANGE SCENE
2:02 men speaking in French (explaining that they are from NPR)
3:13 RH: It didn't matter, but it was very diplomatic.
3:20 CL (?): But it's better to let them know from the get go.
3:21 RH: Absolutely
3:22 talking, moving around
3:44 CHANGE SCENE
3:50 talking, moving around
4:24 RH: What we would like to do is just record a little bit of the, just to get a flavor for¿can't understand
4:33 RD (Regina Davis): Ok, this is the joint operations cell. It's composed of members from USAID, Disaster assistance response¿
4:44 LO: You want her taped?
4:51 (introduction between Leo and Regina, talking about her having been sick)
5:16 RH: Could you introduce yourself please?
5:17 RD: Oh, Regina Davis, I'm the USAID disaster assistance response team leader.
5:22 RH: And what is this meeting?
5:23 RD: This meeting is a joint operations cell that is composed of members from the USAID DART, the Disaster Assistance Response Team, as well as members of Ministry of Agriculture from the governments of Mauritania and Senegal and the military that are working very closely with both ministries in Mauritania and Senegal.
5:50 RH: Okay, we don't want to interrupt your meeting.
5:51 RD: And cell phones!
5:52 RH: And cell phones. Would you just let people here know that we plan to record a little bit of this to catch the flavor of it just so people are aware of that and then that would be great. And if you don't, and of course we appreciate your willingness to let us do this. And you know we just want to be a fly on the wall even though it's a sort of a fuzzy fly.
6:09 RD: Let me just say one other thing is that this meeting we have nightly at 9 o'clock at night and we review information that we see from the prospection teams in both countries. They have gone out during the day, followed swarms, and send in the coordinates of where they roost every night. And that's, we hope to then treat them in the morning. So this is to prioritize which swarms we can treat in the morning.
6:41 RH: So we'll be hearing those position reports tonight?
6:42 RD: Yes
6:45 RH: Great, thank you very much, nice to meet you.
6:46 RD: You too.
6:46 RD: speaking in French about them being from FAO and NPR
7:16 talking, moving around
8:21 Man speaking in French about the positions of the most important swarms
10:20 talking in French
10:44 Another man speaking in French about the positions of swarms
13:12 Someone asks about the density
13:15 Man answers, then continues describing the swarms
16:30 Question about the type of agriculture
16:47 Man answers and discusses it with another man there
17:40 Man continues describing the swarms
19:36 RD asks question about the agriculture in the regions of the swarms
20:11 Man answers
20:42 RD asks about the type of locusts
21:08 Man answers
21:40 talking in French
22:10 Man continues describing swarms
22:45 CL (?) asking question, can't understand
24:00 SOUND FADES IN AND OUT
24:01 Another man speaking in French
25:00 CL asks man question about the planes
25:14 Other man continues
25:28 Someone asking question, cant understand
25:53 CL asking question
26:08 RD asks questions about the planes
26:40 CL and man speaking about the planes
27:55 RD speaking
28:15 man asking question about planes
28:42 Man: How much did he need?
28:49 CL (?): Assume full, he didn't say.
28:57 RD: But he wants to know how much full means.
28:59 Man: Yes, because this guy, we have to negotiate to get him¿
29:15 continue talking about planes
29:40 RD talking about one of the planes having a mechanical problem
30:10 Man asking about what the problem is
30:20 RD says they don't know
30:45 continue talking about planes
32:15 discussing the swarms, then identifying them on the map
34:57 CL (?): Yeah you've got to get the B block of Mauritania because it's closer.
35:20 discussing the position of the swarms in French and what actions to take in terms of the planes and reaching all of the swarms
42:31 Man: Now, we have the plane at Linger (?) one of those planes, there are four planes there. But only one plane will fly. It will treat this block.
42:50 RD/Man talking about why one wont fly
43:10 Man continues explaining in French what they'll do- leave the big blocks for another day
43:40 discussing the plans in French
44:00 SOUNDS FADES IN AND OUT
44:08 discussing the plans in French
45:47 SOUND FADES IN AND OUT
45:58 RH: And you're with USAID? How long have you been here?
46:08 ??: I'm with DART, this disaster assistance response team, I'm with USAID¿but I'm with the forest service.
46:13 RH: Forest service? Oh wow.
46:18 ??: Yeah, they have these different mechanisms of pulling people in so I've worked with AID and the DARTS over about the last six years since about the Kosovo time and uh¿.
46:27 RH: I see, so if it's not one kind of forest fire it's another is that the idea?
46:33 ??: Essentially, I work right now, I work in Atlanta for South East region of the forest service and I basically am sort of an aircraft coordinator at the major coordination center in Atlanta. So like for the last month I've been just up to my ears in hurricanes. And now as soon as that stopped all of a sudden I got this call¿
46:57 SOUNDS FADES IN AND OUT
48:20 RH: So we just heard the situation report, what they're going to spray tomorrow, were there any surprises in there for you?
48:27 CL (?): Uh there were, I mean I think there were some pleasant surprises to see the collaboration between the Mauritanians and the Senegalese authorities you know, sharing their field reports through survey results and then jointly trying to identify and set priorities on the targets. That was the pleasant side. The unpleasant side was to see some of the confusion in terms of actual utilization of the aircraft that are here in country.
48:57 Um, I was disappointed for example to see that earlier in the day I receive a phone call that was informing that two spray craft that we had based in Ties were being moved to the interior of the country. But this evening there were sizable areas of that very area that they used to be placed which need to be sprayed immediately. So it seems like there's still a lot that needs to be done in terms of the well thought out and effective coordination of the resources which were in place.
49:32 RH: Do you think that's a function of just confusion over coordination or is it a function of the fact that the locusts are showing up in places where they were not expected?
49:42 CL: Yeah, part of it's due to this dynamic nature of the beast itself, you know it's hard to predict, I think you know listening well to this explanation as to why these two aircraft were moved, I was concerned over historic patterns you know and of course that may be true. But if you've got 14,000 hectares to treat today and there were planes there earlier this morning you would have thought that they could be kept in place for another day or two before moving them.
50:10 Part of it also is that in the heat of any emergency operation decisions have to be made on the spot and there's not always time to coordinate and think out things as well as you can when you're not in a crisis situation.
50:25 RH: Were you alarmed to hear that there are now large swarms of cicadas so far south from here?
50:30 CL: Large swarms of locusts?
50:32 RH: I'm sorry! Sorry oops! Previous story let me ask that question again!
50:36 CL: This must be a reporter from the Washington, DC area!
50:36 RH: Help me help me! Were you surprised to hear of reports of substantial swarms of locusts pretty far south of here?
50:47 RH: Most of them aren't that far south of this border between Senegal and Mauritania. You know if we look at the three blocks that had been identified, the two in Mauritania and the one on the Senegalese side of the river, there're making up probably one population and they're on their way north at this time leaving the Sahel. So that's you know within the parameters that you'd expect at this time of the year in the campaign. You know I'd hope that they are able to mobilize the four to five planes that they're talking about and knock that swarm down. It would be one large swarm less invading the countries of the Maghreb.
51:29 RH: And I guess we drove not too far from that today, we drove in that general area on our way up.
51:33 CL: That's correct yup, without being able to see them.
51:39 RH: So it's a tricky beast.
51:40 CL: It's tricky, it also shows the indication that in addition to um the flashier resources like spray planes that one of the resources that really needs to be put in place are the ground teams and the communication systems so that we can know what's happening in the entire agricultural areas of these countries in a very timely fashion. And then get it reported back to an operations center in time to impact the decision making.
52:12 RH: Yeah. It's kind of interesting to see in this room that doesn't even have air conditioning that we have a bunch of laptops that are all connected to the Ethernet and they're all connected to the internet and phones and radios¿
52:23 CL: And excellent access to GIS systems and maps and uh, lots of technology to facilitate the decision making. So I think some of these tools are playing a very important role in terms of ensuring that what resources are made available are targeted on the pest itself and aren't being influenced that much by the politics that sometimes interfere in these decisions.
52:50 RH: IT seems like in the last 20 or 30 years we've gone from just spraying very nasty pesticides that stay on the ground for a long time, we've moved away from those pesticides and now it seems that in order to make that effective it really requires a lot more of this high tech communications and electronics stuff.
53:08 CL: Yeah it's one of the drawbacks of having moved behind beyond you know the dirty dozen, the very persistent pesticides that have contaminated the environment is that we're using products that basically are effective against pests for a matter of hours. And that means that you're targeting has to be very precise, your application has to be precise because otherwise if the swarms move around they'll no longer be in contact with the pesticide, expensive pesticide had been applied in order to bring the populations down. So you know it's sort of a give and take type situation on any given day.
53:45 talking, cell phone
54:11 VOLUME FADES OUT
54:26 LO: Okay this is general ambience in the room.
54:28 talking, car, moving around
55:44 VOLUME FADES OUT
1:37:12 TAPE ENDS