Locust Swarm 2020: Africa Facing Food Insecurity

Locust Swarm 2020: Africa Facing Food Insecurity

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Locust swarm 2020 Africa

Many parts of the world are fighting with one more menace in the age of coronavirus pandemic and that’s locust swarm. East African regions are among the worst hit by locust attack in the world, with five million people speculated at risk of starvation.

African countries, like other others in the world, are already in the grope of deadly coronavirus. And, also facing desert-locust plague is the second big crisis the region is facing along with the pandemic. To handle the food crisis has become tougher for Africans as coronavirus and locust outbreaks occurred together this year.


Locust swarm 2020 Africa: Food insecurity

We describe all you need to know about locust attack and food crisis in Africa, where people are worst hit. I have explained in the following lines why the food insecurity becomes more difficult in Africa. Also, here is an account of what actions needed to deal with the situation.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has alerted that the coronavirus pandemic has left as the world’s most vulnerable communities, facing “a crisis within a crisis”. It has disrupted the supply chain and hammered the economy. All this has made global hunger problem worst, especially in African countries. Desert locust swarm is one of the worst of its types this year in Africa over the last 70 years.

These locusts are likely to leave around five million people starving, says International Rescue Committed (IRC). This is happening at time when most of the countries are already facing food insecurity due to Covid 19 outbreak. A locust swarm can contain around 80 million of adults. A square-kilometre swarm can consume food as much as eaten by 35,000 people in a day. Locals at Africa are forced to destroy their lifeline – crops – due to the locusts.

More challenges coming up

East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan suffer immensely due to locust outbreak. The swarm may spread wider in coming days, says IRC. According to experts, desert locusts are capable of flying 150 kilometres per day, destroying crops and livelihood across the region. One can expect how much power the locusts possess and how much the people of an affected area will suffer.

As per a report of Global Network Against Food Crisis, nearly one in five of the world’s most food-insecure people are in the region of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The 5.2 million square kilometre IGA Darea includes the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

These African countries have been facing violence, drought, floods, chronic food shortages and diseases for a long time now. They faced conflict, insecurity and economic low due to extreme weather last year. According to IRC, without taking into consideration the Covid 19 impacts, over 25 million people in the region will be under acute food insecurity and needing immediate action this year.

Actions required to tackle food crisis

Among many African countries, Somalia is expected to be worst hit food-insecure nation. The government here has already declared a nation-wide emergency due to desert-locust crisis. In the country, around 3.5 million people can face food insecurity if humanitarian assistance not provided immediately, says IRS. Women face hardest plight hit due to food crisis in African countries.

The IRS has called for a $1.98 million immediate assistant for Somalia as a desert-locust emergency. It has also appealed for UN and affected countries to keep doing technical analysis of the locust movement. And also, appealed to maintain continued information sharing, before things go away from hands.

In times of coronavirus pandemic, these African countries need immediate assistance as millions of locusts are eating their people’s livelihood. The economic condition of people in these countries was already bad and desert-locust attack along with Covid 19 disease outbreak has made it worst this year.

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