Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda could all be on the verge of a famine if the swarms of locusts devastating the green are not properly brought to an end soon enough, the United Nations (UN) has warned.
Dominique Burgeon, the Director of Emergencies for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has warned that the desert locusts in the region will mess up the food chain and cause prolonged famine in the region.
Country efforts to control the invasion are still under effective with Uganda allegedly setting aside over Shs 20B to control the locusts. Experts say that aerial spraying of the pesticides is the most effective way of fighting the swarms but countries in the region do not have the right resources.
The UN says the locusts are breeding so fast and the numbers that are already in hundreds of billions are estimated to grow 500 times by the middle of 2020 if they’re not controlled.
FAO is calling upon the international community to provide about $76M (£58m) that will fund the spraying of the affected areas with insecticide.
“If it doesn’t, the situation will deteriorate and then you will need to provide massive food assistance for a humanitarian situation that may even get out of control,” Mr Burgeon was quoted by the BBC.
Kenya is using aircraft spray to fight the locusts while Uganda deployed over 2000 soldiers to counter the locusts in the north. Somalia on the other hand, has declared a state of emergency.