East Africa faces food insecurity due to new locusts swarms

The humanitarian agency, Oxfam has said in a new report that new swarms of locusts are increasing the risk of food insecurity for several people in East and Central Africa who are faced with COVID-19 and flooding.

Locust invasion

It is estimated that the locust invasions in recent months have destroyed thousands of hectares of crops in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

The heavy rains that have also caused flooding in some parts of the region have created favourable conditions for the breeding of locusts.

Meanwhile, the latest generation of swarms feared to be as big as 400 times larger than the original swarms, are expected to hatch in June when crops are ready for harvest.

East Africa’s Desert Locust Control Organisation told the BBC that the coronavirus pandemic has stalled efforts to control the swarm invasion.

This is because importing pesticides to the region has become expensive.

Last week the World Bank approved $160m (£130m) for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda in the form of grants and low-interest loans to help farmers and herders impacted by the invasions.

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