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Contribution of spatial information techniques to the monitoring and support of a sustainable control of cattle trypanosomiasis in Western Africa (case study Togo)

Research project T4/DD/21 (Research action T4)

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Description :

In the past, actions taken to control trypanosomiasis, concentrated on one particular method at a time. This could be suppression of the vector, use of more tolerant species or the use of chemicals. The projects were mostly on a very large scale, with foreign aid, but seldom offered a sustainable solution. Trypanotolerant species appeared to be less appreciated by the farmers since they produced less milk or tractive power. With trypanocides problems of local availability, misuse, difficult preservation, bad quality and resistance of some trypanosome strains arose. As a consequence the animal trypanosomiasis remained a tremendous obstacle for the development of animal husbandry and integrated agriculture in large parts of Africa.

Today, people working in the field of veterinary medicine, are convinced that a successful suppression of trypanosomiasis requires a multidisciplinary and ecologically safe approach, in which animal husbandry and agriculture are integrated and synergistic. Thanks to well-considered suppression activities, adapted to local environmental situations and to the technical and financial means of the beneficiary, it should be possible to control animal trypanosomiasis. This approach however requires costly and time consuming field surveys which need to be reduced to a certain minimum. Satellite images offer a feasible opportunity in supporting the monitoring of impacts on the land use by suppression actions and enable the maintenance of an "early warning system" to prevent the carrying capacity of the land being exceeded.

The task of this proposed project is to contribute, through means of data obtained from remote sensing, in preparing rational programs for an integrated suppression of the trypanosomiasis.

To gain a better understanding of land use patterns and limitations of local ecosystems in order to plan further integration of agriculture and stock breeding, several new information layers in the existing database are necessary. This will be achieved through use of medium resolution satellite images (RESURS01) and high resolution Landsat TM images. In order to monitor trypanosomiasis suppression, a user friendly monitoring system is needed based on the database and parameters derived from satellite images.

The pilot project will consequently deal with following topics:

- preparation of a recent nation-wide land cover map of Togo (RESURS01);
- change detection of land cover and land use based on a time series (10 years) of TM images;
- preparation of a fragility index for three priority areas in the North of Togo, concerning the integration of agriculture and stock breeding, based on parameters derived from satellite images and field measurements;
- contribution to the combination of experience and knowledge in a workable system-model;
- anticipate the effects of control measures taken.

The results of this project will be built in into an operational planning system for the integration of agriculture and stockbreeding.
The overall methodology prepared in this project offers the opportunity to extend an integrated trypanosomiasis suppression and maintain a permanent monitoring system for the whole West-African region. This could be obtained using the new SPOT VEGETATION satellite with its low spatial, but high temporal resolution.

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