The migratory pests, which were first reported in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, have also been seen in the Ugandan districts of Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk, presenting an unprecedented the threat to food security and livelihoods in the region. A locust swarm of one square kilometre can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.
The infestation of Desert Locusts
across vast swatches of the East African Region is one of the devastating
effects of climate change that Africa has to endure, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.
The migratory pests, which were
first reported in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, have also been seen in
the Ugandan districts of Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk, presenting an unprecedented
the threat to food security and livelihoods in the region. A locust swarm of one
square kilometre can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation
had earlier warned that Uganda and South Sudan were at high risk, as swarms
moved closer to the Uganda-Kenya border in Turkana. New swarms have also been
reported forming in Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen as locust
infestations continue to grow on both sides of the Red Sea.
Guterres says that because the
seas have become warmer, as a result of Human activity, the world is seeing
more cyclones, creating a perfect breeding ground for locusts. Heavy rainfall and warmer temperatures are favourable conditions for locust breeding, according to environmentalists.
“Warmer seas mean more cyclones generating the perfect breeding ground for locusts”, He said, calling for more
ambition for mitigation and, especially for Africa’s sake, more ambition on
adaptation and financing to build the resilience of African countries and
communities as they battle the locust invasion.
//Cue in; “and there is also….
Cue out… have that chance.”//
Guterres was addressing a press
conference on the sidelines of the annual African Union Summit, a gathering of
55 African nations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last evening.
He emphasized that although Africa
has done the least responsible for accelerated global warming, it is suffering the
most devastating effects, calling on the developing countries to rise up ‘for Africa’s
sake’ and control their emissions.
“I express my deep solidarity with the people and communities affected.
The United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for assistance. I ask the
international community to respond with speed and generosity to ensure
an effective response and control the infestation while we still have
the chance,” Guterres said.
He equally commended Africa’s longstanding
moral and political leadership on the climate emergency.
//Cue in; Africa has done…
Cue out… that Africa needs.”//
FAO has estimated that USD 76
million is needed to scale up efforts to control the rapid spread of this pest
and FAO Director-General QU Dongyu has called for urgent action to combat the
upsurge. So far, more than USD 18 million has been donated to the efforts to
fight the upsurge.
The agency is already working with local and national governments
and partners, supporting surveillance and control operations and
initiating efforts to safeguard livelihoods and assist in the
longer-term recovery and resilience of those affected.
according to a statement, intensive ground and aerial control operations need to be urgently
scaled up to detect and reduce the locust numbers before they spread any