East Africa’s battle against locusts, the BBC reports that a second invasion by desert locusts has hit East Africa in just a few months, as younger and more aggressive swarms hatch and spread across a region already battling hunger and coronavirus, which has made it more difficult to get supplies to kill the crop-devouring pests.
Africa’s second-largest nation, Ethiopia, as well as economic powerhouse Kenya and politically unreliable Somalia, have been hardest hit.
Since 2019, East Africa’s battle against locusts and trying to control a devastating desert locust invasion. The long rains that typically fall across the region from March to May this year will probably allow yet another generation of locusts to mature, further threatening crops and livelihoods.
Food security would be further compromised in East African countries, which have already been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Desert locusts covered an area larger than Ethiopia’s Lake Tana by April alone.
“The next generation of locust swarms will arrive in late June or early July,” says Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer at the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
The timing is especially concerning since it coincides with the start of the harvest season.
The UN estimates the swarms could be up to 20 times bigger than during the first invasion -and they could become 400 times bigger by June.
It’s preferable to deal with locust swarms before they form. Because tiny quantities of insects may be managed relatively readily, regular monitoring is required.
“A locust is easy to get rid of. When you spray insecticide on a locust, it dies “Cressman agrees.
Normally, pesticides are sprayed from hand-held tanks by ground workers, who are supported by aircraft or helicopters.
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