An incredibly large swarm of locusts threatens the Middle East | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

An image taken on February 25, 2020, near the town of Isiolo in Isiolo County, eastern Kenya, shows locust nymphs huddled on the ground at a hatching site. Millions of locust nymphs emerged from eggs left by swarms that invaded the area last month and the situation remains very worrying in the Horn of Africa, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) specifically in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where breeding is widespread. The last month has now led to the emergence of new swarms.

(Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Locusts are breeding in the Horn of Africa at an unprecedented rate.
  • The current swarm eats as much as 35,000 people per day.

The locust plague growing in the Horn of Africa this month is set to make its way through North Africa and the Middle East, the likes of which have not been seen in the region for more than 30 years.

Last month, locusts destroyed crops in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, and the swarm is still breeding.

Locust plague destroys crops and causes great agricultural damage. This leads to starvation and starvation, which in turn can kill the population.

Locusts are breeding in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia at an unprecedented rate. This presents an “unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods at the start of the upcoming crop season,” according to Locust Watch, a monitoring division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which provides emergency assistance to countries facing desert locust infestations.

The locust plague is already the worst in Kenya in 70 years, and for at least 25 years in other parts of the region. Swarms can move up to 90 miles a day, and can eat their own weight daily. The current swarm eats up to 35,000 people they can consume daily. A locust swarm strips all vegetation in its path, threatening the food supply of millions of people.

The desert locust that threatens the area “is the world’s most destructive migratory pest,” according to the Locust Watch website.

Experts say the swarm is expected to move as far east as Pakistan in the coming months. The descent over the Middle East will begin next month, coinciding with the Jewish Passover, which celebrates, among other things, the ten plagues of the Bible in Egypt, one of which was the locust.

There are setbacks to locust management plans. Aerial spraying is the most effective way to stop the locusts, but aid agencies say there is not enough equipment or funding to adequately defeat the swarms.

The setbacks are exacerbated by the global measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. Experts can no longer travel to in-country meetings to train local residents to comb in the face of the locust threat, according to Keith Cressman, Rome-based chief locust forecaster, on Monday.

Cressman, who has worked with the organization for more than three decades, told The Times of Israel on Monday that the last time the region was in such danger was during the 1987-1989 pandemic.

“Studies have linked a hotter climate to more devastating locust swarms, leaving Africa disproportionately affected — 20 of the fastest warming countries globally,” Richard Monang, a UN Environment Program expert on climate and Africa, said in a recent interview. It is located in Africa. “The wet weather is also conducive to the breeding of locusts. The above-average precipitation that hit the Horn of Africa from October to December 2019 was 400% higher than the normal amount.”

The heavy rains are caused by a periodic change in sea surface temperatures called the Indian Ocean Dipole, also known as the “El Nino Indian Ocean”. This pattern has also led to a record level of tropical cyclone activity in the northern Indian Ocean, which some researchers have linked to climate change.

“While climate change is a global phenomenon, Africa is characterized by its vulnerability that is primarily driven by the prevailing low levels of social and economic development,” Munang said. “People living in poverty face complex vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change because they lack the resources to recover quickly from its effects. In this case, desert locusts destroy crops in the field before harvest, destroying livestock and forage for wildlife, and leading to savings, assets and livelihoods. “.

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