Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

East Africa Locust Outbreak Sparks Calls for International Help

East Africa Locust Outbreak Sparks  Calls for International Help

KENYA - Billions of locusts swarming through East Africa could prove disastrous for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods, experts have warned, amid increasing calls for international help.
Dense clouds of the ravenous insects, each of which consumes its own weight in food every day, have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region's worse infestation in decades.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated one swarm in Kenya at around 2,400 square kilometres (about 930 square miles) - an area almost the size of Moscow - meaning it could contain up to 200 billion locusts.
The locust invasion is the biggest in Ethiopia and Somalia in 25 years, and the biggest in Kenya in 70 years, according to the FAO.
"We must act immediately and at scale to combat and contain this invasion. As the rains start in March there will be a new wave of locust breeding. Now is, therefore, the best time to control the swarms and safeguard people’s livelihoods and food security, and avert further worsening of the food crisis," said David Phiri, FAO subregional coordinator for Eastern Africa.
About $70m is needed to step up aerial pesticide spraying, the only effective way to combat them, according to the UN. (Aljazeera)