Swarm of desert locust has invaded the Eastern Africa region since the beginning of 2020. Its origin is traced to the Middle East. The fast spread is due to a change in climate, political instability in some regions especially Iran and some parts of the horn of Africa.
Below is a map of how the desert locust invaded the continent of Africa.
The desert locusts have so far advanced to the west reaching South Sudan which has been crippling with civil war for the last six years.
The dangerous insects have so far infested Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and now South Sudan. Somalia has declared the invasion a national emergency.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), desert Locust belongs to a family group of the grasshopper and is a unique type since they can ravage green plantation on areas that they invade endangering both human and livestock survival.
Desert locust can fly 150 kilometres per day. And per kilometre square, there are 40million to 80 million locusts. In addition, the same locust per square kilometre can consume food that can feed 35,000 people per day.
Eastern Africa region is made up of countries that agriculture majorly contributes to their gross domestic Products. The invasion of locust thus means in one way or the other one, the economy of the region will be affected.
For instance, some countries including Kenya and Uganda have set aside a substantial amount of money which was not factored in the budget to fight the invasion of these pests in their countries.
Eastern Africa region has been ailing from the shortage of food. With the invasion of these pests, it is expected that the number of people that will be exposed to food shortage will go high in the region.
The people residing in these countries have so far started panicking of the shortage of food. This is a very risky thing to happen as this will put pressure on food prices forcing inflation to rise among foodstuff.
In an effort to fight the invasion of locust, FAO and individual state governments have mobilized existing resources towards the fight of the insects.
FAO has so far raised 20 million dollars far from the budget of 76 million dollar target campaign needed to effectively fight the spread.
Although the individual states in the region have deployed special teams to try and managed the spread of the insects. Some states like Kenya, have deployed seven aircraft to administer aerial spraying of the pest. The efforts seem futile as the invasion has continually deepened into the continent of Africa.
According to experts view, there is a loop in the states government in their preparedness to manage disasters like locust invasion whenever they occur. This will continually pose risk to its citizen as the cost of providing food is much more expensive than managing the invasion.
As farmers plan for the planting seasons in part of Kenya, they are worried about their crops as they do not know when the insects will visit their farms again.
The current government of Kenya had been drumming for food Security under its big four agenda may turn to be a daydream event as the insect has pose uncertainty in the sector.
With this invasion remaining unmanaged within Eastern Africa Region, it seems the African continent is at risk of food insecurity.
As China is battling Coronary Virus, Eastern Africa countries are battling with the fast invasion of the desert locust. The call now is on the world organization to extend their effort in saving Africa from further damages.