Swarms of biblical proportions destroy crops in Eastern Africa

Eastern Africa has repeatedly been plagued by natural disasters such as drought followed by heavy rain and floods. I started crying when I read about the newest plague – the region’s worst locust outbreak in decades.

Eastern Africa holds a very special place in my heart. Since many years, Kia and I have been fortunate enough to be able to sponsor kids through an international aid organisation. Of our 8 sponsor kids, 7 live and go to school in Eastern Africa. Now, in a time when people in the West only focus on the Coronavirus, the Africans are struck by the next disaster – a locust infestation described by top UN officials as a “scourge of biblical proportions“.

According to the UN, unusual climate conditions have favoured rapid locust reproduction. “Swarms potentially containing hundreds of millions of individual desert locusts can move 150 kilometres a day – devastating rural livelihoods.” The favourable breeding conditions mean that if left unchecked, the situation could escalate and the numbers of insects could grow 500 fold by June.

During a three-month breeding cycle, a single locust can breed 20 more, giving rise to the massive swarms that are now threatening crops, according to the Guardian.

Read more about the subject, see the pictures and think about how you could make an impact.

RESOURCES:

The Guardian:

Kenya suffers worst locust infestation in 70 years as millions of insects swarm farmland

Picture Gallery

Food fears grow as swarms of locusts reach Uganda and Tanzania

Uganda’s ‘locust commander’ leads the battle against a new enemy

The BBC:

Locust swarm: UN warns of food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia

Reliefweb:

Maps describing the locust outbreak situation and forecast from Reliefweb (pdf)

The New York Times:

‘Like an Umbrella Had Covered the Sky’: Locust Swarms Despoil Kenya