Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Locusts swarming Somalia

Swarms of locusts are chewing up crops, leaving many Somalians in poverty and without food.

Tens of thousands of hectares of crops and grazing land have been devastated in the worst invasion of desert locusts in 25 years, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The locusts have damaged about 70,000 hectares in Somalia and neighbouring Ethiopia, threatening food supplies in both countries and the livelihoods of farming communities, the FAO said.

An average swarm will destroy crops that could feed 2,500 people for a year, the FAO said.

Conflict and chaos in much of Somalia make spraying pesticide by airplane – which the FAO called the “ideal control measure” – impossible, the agency said.

“The impact of our actions in the short term is going to be very limited.”