Somalia declares national emergency over locust swarms
Somalia has declared a national emergency over a number of large locust swarms that are spreading across East Africa.
The country’s Ministry of Agriculture said the swarms pose “a major threat to Somalia’s fragile food security situation” amid fears that the situation may not be resolved until April. The UN has called the swarms, which consume large amounts of vegetation, are the largest in Somalia and Ethiopia for 25 years.
Somalia declares national emergency
Somalia has become the first country to declare a national emergency over the huge swarms of locust currently moving across East Africa. However, it’s by no means the only country affected with Kenya seeing its worst threat in 70 years, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Food security in Somalia is particularly fragile, though, with the country facing increasingly difficult drought and flooding conditions throughout different parts of the year. Floods destroy crucial cropland and kill livestock while droughts make production impossible for many who still have land available.
Now, those who have managed to produce crops face the prospect of its being decimated by swarms of locust that rapidly consume vegetation and simply move on to the next source.
The challenge of dealing with locust is more difficult for Somalia, too, due to the country’s security situation meaning that planes cannot be used to spray insecticide from the air.
Featured image: By CSIRO, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35486123