Partnerships for tsetse control: community participation and other options


The objective of this paper is to stimulate debate on the factors that determine when, where and how it might be appropriate to involve communities in tsetse control operations. Its purpose is not, therefore, to advocate community participation in all situations but rather to provide a framework to facilitate decision-making.

In recent years the participation of local communities in tsetse control has been widely promoted and is even a prerequisite for funding by many donors. This emphasis on community management of tsetse control reflects policy changes in other areas of natural resource management where communal resources are involved. However, in the case of tsetse control, little attention has been paid to the context within which community participation is expected to operate and to the appropriateness of participation as a strategy in different contexts. The discussion has focused on technical issues, and not only have community aspects been overlooked but the role and capacity of other partners which are necessarily involved in any control exercise have also been ignored and/or taken for granted.

This article explores these issues in cases where traps and targets are the principal technologies being proposed for tsetse control. Although some other technologies have also been implemented with a degree of community participation, the specific properties of traps and targets and their use raise a number of unique issues, such as the necessity for a coordinated group effort, since individual action has been ineffective. The article therefore pays particular attention to how programmes have approached this problem, although much of the discussion will be equally applicable to other situations where community involvement is under consideration. It begins with a brief overview of programmes with an element of community participation, followed by a discussion of variables to be considered in determining appropriate strategies and developing action plans based on task sharing by the various partners involved. It concludes by highlighting major concerns and suggests how the planning process might move forward. The discussion is based on documentation from the FAO Regional Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control Programme (RTTCP) and individual tsetse control pro-grammes in sub-Saharan Africa in addition to the authors' own ongoing comparative study in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Information on projects visited during the course of this study is provided in Table 1.


K Barrett, C Okali. Partnerships for tsetse control: community participation and other options. World Animal Review (FAO) (1998) 90: 39-46.

Partnerships for tsetse control: community participation and other options

Published 1 January 1998