A gentle buzz is causing havoc in Somalia.
Desert locusts have already destroyed 70,000 hectares of crops and grazing land in that country. Somalia is suffering through its worst invasion in 25 years. Swarms are leaving many without food to feed their families.
Farmers are calling on the government and the international community for support. “We are willing to try on our own and would spend whatever we have to fight back against the locusts. We are not getting any help from the federal government or aid agencies. But we can’t fight them because their numbers are huge and they are uncontrollable,” says goat herder Abdulah Hassan.
Another farmer said calls for help are already too late. She says the bugs devoured her entire crop, leaving her with nothing to feed her children and with no income to make purchases at the market.
The plague has already surpassed projections by the Food and Agriculture Organization. And it has been made worse by unseasonably heavy rainfall and floods across East Africa that killed hundreds of people in recent months.
The Food and Agriculture Administration said in a statement that conflict in Somalia has made spraying pesticide by airplane impossible, adding that, “the impact of our actions in the short term is going to be very limited.”
(Locusts are thick on the ground in Somalia. Reuters)