https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#m_8373083918597933307_

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Just 1 swarm measured 60 kilometres (37 miles) long by 40 kilometres (25 miles) wide: The most serious outbreak of desert locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa

Photo desertification.wordpress.com
  • A small plague of locusts can eat the same amount of food as 35,000 people in one day.
  • A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometre.
The most serious outbreak of desert locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa and posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world's most vulnerable countries, authorities say. Unusual climate conditions are partly to blame. The locust swarms hang like shimmering dark clouds on the horizon in some places. Roughly the length of a finger, the insects fly together by the millions and are devouring crops and forcing people in some areas to bodily wade through them.

Near the Kenyan town of Isiolo on Thursday, one young camel herder swung a stick at them, with little effect. Others tried to shout them away. An "extremely dangerous increase" in locust swarm activity has been reported in Kenya, the East African regional body reported this week. One swarm measured 60 kilometres (37 miles) long by 40 kilometres (25 miles) wide in the country's northeast, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development said in a statement.

"A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometre," it said. "Swarms migrate with the wind and can cover 100 to 150 kilometres in a day. An average swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500 people."The outbreak of desert locusts considered the most dangerous locust species, also has affected parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea and IGAD warns that parts of South Sudan and Uganda could be next.

The outbreak is making the region's bad food security situation worse, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has warned. Hundreds of thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed. Already millions of people cope with the constant risk of drought or flooding, as well as deadly unrest in Ethiopia, extremist attacks in Somalia and lingering fighting in South Sudan as it emerges from civil war. The further increase in locust swarms could last until June as favourable breeding conditions continue, IGAD said, helped along by unusually heavy flooding in parts of the region in recent weeks.

Major locust outbreaks can be devastating. A major one between 2003 and 2005 cost more than $500 million to control across 20 countries in northern Africa, the FAO has said, with more than $2.5 billion in harvest losses. To help prevent and control outbreaks, authorities analyze satellite images, stockpile pesticides and conduct aerial spraying.

Environment 2020

Front Page Headlines

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well... there's an even bigger pest on Earth.... Humans. Just 1 swarm of them measures that of the entire Earth... eating everything in it's path, leaving a wake of deadly toxins, plastics, radioactive elements, deadly electrosmog, and are the cause of the sixth great mass extinction.

Unknown said...

Ain't that the truth brother

Anonymous said...

...said the two humans...

Ian Moss said...

And now there's an alien invasion to worry about too jaja