The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned that there is a high threat of a desert locust invasion in Uganda, South Sudan, as well as new areas in southwestern Ethiopia. The corresponding message was published on the official page of this organization on Twitter.
The resulting risk requires an immediate and significant increase in measures to control the current situation. Locust plague threatens the food security of countries in eastern Africa, as large and numerous swarms of these insects continue to destroy crops and pastures.
Ugandan Prime Minister Rukhakana Rugunda has already ordered all locust monitoring and control services to be on high alert. The Ugandan Government Community Outreach Center reported that the locusts are located just 150 km from the Ugandan border with Kenya. In these conditions, he advised the citizens of the country to stock up on food.
According to experts, there have not been such a large number of desert locusts in eastern Africa for the past 25 years, and in Kenya for 70 years. A significant role in the rapid growth in the number of these insects was played by prolonged rains that fell throughout the last autumn and at the beginning of this winter in the countries of East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
The immediate threat of hunger from the locust plague now looms over 19 million people, said the Central and East Africa Working Group on Food Security and Nutrition, which brings together eight countries in the Horn of Africa and the Nile Valley. An average locust swarm, numbering up to 150 million insects, destroys enough food crops per day to feed 2,500 people for a year.