Following reports of the appearance of army worms in some areas in Lofa County, Supt George Dunor has confirmed the incidence, but said “the situation is not of serious concern.”
“Yes, based on an assessment tour of the county, we found some worms in at least three towns, but of smaller quantities,” Mr Dunor told this paper in an exclusive interview last Thursday.
Media reports had claimed that army worms attacked Zorzor District, the second most populated district next to Voinjama.
Supt Dunor said during the tour along with the agricultural coordinator of the country, they saw the army worms devouring leaves of wild vegetation near a school in Kpassagezia, Voinjama District, and alerted the principal of the school.
Asked whether the situation warrants the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture, he said: “Not yet. It is of small quantity and so we are waiting yet. We did not see any crops being attacked by the worms”.
He said his office along with relevant authorities will continue their surveillance and when the situation becomes alarming, then he will alert relevant national authorities.
Army worms seriously attacked Bong County in 2009, contaminating water sources in towns and villages with their droppings, aside from devastating food crops on many farms.
The seriousness of the situation prompted the Liberian government to declare the affected areas as disaster zones, and appealed to FAO which called for immediate action to prevent a serious food shortage. African army worms are the larval stage of a moth, Spodoptera exempta. The infestation was the worst Liberia has seen in three decades.