Urgent action needed to stop locust invasion in eastern Africa

Source(s)
The New Humanitarian

By Obi Anyadike

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Swarms of the insects are sweeping across eastern Ethiopia, neighbouring areas of Somalia, and are pouring into Kenya, destroying crops, pasture, and forest cover throughout the region on an unprecedented scale.

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“We must act now,” UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said in a statement on Wednesday, announcing the release of $10 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to support the FAO.

The allocation will fund a “massive scale-up in aerial operations to manage the outbreak,” the statement said, referring to the deployment of pesticide-spraying planes that can wipe out the swarms.

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And while there are sufficient supplies of pesticides, there will need to be cooperation so stocks can be shared and deployed to where the need is greatest.

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