Locust invasion escalating in East Africa

Desert locusts

Desert locusts

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) THE multiplying swarms of locusts are posing an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are worst affected.

Millions in these countries have been facing food shortages before the onset of the pests.

There has been a significant and extremely dangerous increase in swarm activity during the past week in Kenya after an initial invasion in the northeast. One swarm was 60km long by 40km wide.

The swarms have spread across the country.

Some swarms may reach northeast Uganda and southeast South Sudan in the northeast.

In Ethiopia, swarms of locusts continue to form and move in the eastern and southern regions.

In Somalia, swarms are present in the areas near the border with Kenya.

National and provincial agencies as well as the private sector in affected countries are battling to bring the situation under control.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) reported that so far, survey and control operations had not been mounted in Somalia due to insecurity caused by the Al-Shabaab terror group.

“Aerial control efforts need to be urgently and very quickly upscaled in all countries,” the agency stated.

Elsewhere, the swarms are prevalent in southwest Asia, particularly on both sides of the India-Pakistan border.

– CAJ News

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