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What Locust invation reduction means to food security in East Africa pic

The number and size of desert locust swarms in Ethiopia and Kenya has decreased significantly between January and March this year.   While this is indicative that good progress has been achieved, particularly in Kenya where swarms are no longer arriving from the north, the FAO still cautions that the situation in northern Somalia is still dire, given that the swarms and hopper bands invasion are still persistent.

 

This is according to an analysis by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) which also states that the decline is as a result of sustained control operations and delayed locust breeding due to limited rainfall. …

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A handful of dead locusts Photo by Daniel Irungu

Locusts could be East Africa’s new threat, after the coronavirus pandemic, which is also taking a toll in East Africa. The Locust infestation is causing chaos to the human food supply and has been wreaking havoc for the past decades, in the African continent.

The situation in some parts of East Africa is alarming, according to 27 May Locust Watch information from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the desert locust upsurge remains critical in East Africa.

“The current situation remains extremely alarming in East Africa where Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia continue to face an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods. New swarms from current breeding will form from mid-June onwards, coinciding with the start of the harvest,” FAO argued.

According to a March 10, 2020, BBC News report, the locusts—which eat their body weight in food every day are breeding so fast numbers could grow four hundredfold by …

A swarm of locust Photo FAO

East Africa is facing a serious threat posed by billions of locusts–the most dangerous migratory pests, threatening food security in the region which is also enduring, through climate change, stress impacting food security in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and some parts of Tanzania.

According to the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), East Africa is already being threatened with 19 million people facing acute food insecurity.

In January swarms of locusts made their presence known when they took an Ethiopian plane off course, and invaded Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and took Uganda and Tanzania in February.

This could be the worst case of locust outbreak over the decades. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the region, as a new swarm is forming and expected in March and April.

UN agronomy experts warned that the wave of locusts …

European Union contributes €11million to fight Locust outbreak

Uganda’s Cabinet approves an extra $1.8 million to help fight the locust invasion.

This was after it came to be known that $3 million of the initial $4 million released for the same purpose was used to pay membership arrears to the Desert Locusts Control Organisation for East Africa (DLCO-EA).

DLCO-EA draws membership from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti.

According to the EastAfrican a local news platform, Uganda still owes the organisation an extra $2 million even after paying the arrears, Uganda, together with Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia, are the main defaulters.

According to the EastAfrican, the Country Representative for DLCO-EA, Mr Evarist Magara said that each member partner is supposed to pay $120,000 per year. Adding that Uganda’s debt had grown to $5 million accumulated over nearly 30 years of non-payment. Sudan also owes $6 million to the regional organization.

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