Swarms of locusts can snag millions of food in already vulnerable East African countries

Swarms of locusts can snag millions of food in already vulnerable East African countries

Johannesburg – Uganda was shaken to respond to this arrival The largest locust outbreak Parts of East Africa have been seen for decades, when the UN warned on Monday that “we simply cannot make another big push” in already vulnerable regions.

The military has decided to deploy ground-based pesticide spray a few hours after an emergency government meeting to find locusts in Uganda on Sunday, and two planes will be available as soon as possible to spray air, a statement said. Air spray is considered the only effective control.

Billions of locusts are destroying Kenya’s crop, which has not seen such outbreaks in years, as well as Somalia and Ethiopia, which have not been seen in any quarter century. Insects have adapted to favorable wet conditions following unusually heavy rains, and experts say climate change is expected to bring more of that.

Kenya has received “waves of waves and waves of dehydration” since the beginning of the year from the Horn of Africa, and “at the end of the weekend they crossed the Tanzania border to Mount Kilimanjaro,” said Keith Chrisman, forecaster for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) senior locust.

“They also moved to northeastern Uganda at the end of the weekend,” he said at a news conference at the US headquarters in New York. “We expect that someday they will cross the border into the southeast corner of South Sudan,” where millions more are facing hunger as the country is fighting to rise from the civil war.

A medium-sized locust can eat the same amount of food as the entire population of Kenya, says Kriesman, “and in one day everyone in the tri-state region, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. So if you don’t take timely action, you see the consequences. Are getting

The woes of insects reach Uganda
On February 11, 2020, a man caught a locust in Katakwi, Uganda For decades, Uganda has deployed troops to counter the worst locusts in the region.

Luke Draw / Getty

US officials have warned that immediate action needs to be taken before more rains in the weeks ahead to feed the new generation of locusts. If not tested, their numbers could increase up to 500 times before the arrival of dry weather, they say.

“There is a risk of disaster,” UN humanitarian chief Mark Locke said in a briefing in New York on Monday, warning that 3 million people are already facing dire insecurity – 3 million in places affected by locusts – and the region cannot afford another push.

The FAO’s emergency and resilience director, Dominique Bergen, warned at the American briefing that more than 20 million people in the region were at risk of food insecurity.

The outbreak of locusts can turn into a world without enough air splashing to stop waterlogging, “and it takes years to control when you get plague,” Bergen told the Associated Press last week.

The US has asked for $ 76 million dollars in urgent help. Officials say, so far, only $ 20 million is in hand, $ 1 million released by Locke from the US Emergency Relief Fund and $ 1.3 million from the FAO. The United States said on Monday that it had released $ 800,000 and the European Union 1 million euros.

“Today’s response will not work, unless there is a large scale up,” said Folk.

The locusts are eating plants that support the livestock community in the region, and Kenyan Ambassador Lazarus Amayo warned of “the inherent risk of communal conflict in the pastures.”

Its outbreak is so severe that it may hinder crop cultivation in the coming weeks, adding that locusts “cause irreversible damage.”

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