For anyone who has questions about why the insects are swarming or what it means for humans, we have answers. 1 million ha of land has been targeted for rapid locust surveillance and control in the eight East African countries. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. In response to the outbreak of desert locusts in East Africa, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be providing $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support regional operations to control locusts in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, and the Federal Republic of Somalia. The species of locust currently swarming is the desert locust. A community volunteer uses a motorised spray to disperse pesticide on February 25, 2020 at a hatch ... [+] site near Isiolo town in Isiolo county, eastern Kenya, where locust nymphs have hatched en masse. from Yale in 2019. The U.N. has allocated $10 million for aerial spraying.. “But that doesn't change the fact that fires can be devastating to humanity and extreme weather events and (man-made) climate change can affect the frequency and extent of fires,” he said. A small portion of an average swarm eats around the same amount as 10 elephants, or 2,500 people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the desert locust situation is serious in Yemen and at the Indo-Pakistan border. At the Intergovernmental Authority on Development climate prediction and applications centre, based in Nairobi, researchers have been running a supercomputer model to predict breeding areas that may have been missed by ground monitoring. Francesco Rigamonti, the regional humanitarian coordinator for Horn, East and Central Africa for Oxfam International Nairobi, said the locust swarms are especially concerning because they are affecting areas with underlying vulnerabilities — like Somalia, which already has conflict problems. You may opt-out by. 03 Sep 2019 - 19:17. In fact, the largest swarm of locust in recorded history didn’t happen in biblical times or faraway Egypt but the Great Plains of the United States in 1874 and 1875. About 70,000 hectares (172,973 acres) of land in Kenya alone are already infested. The desert locust infestation in Ethiopia has deteriorated, despite ongoing ground and aerial control operations. Overson compared locust plagues to wildfires. Locust swarms have infested 23 countries as of April 2020. The Kenyan government is on high alert and effective control measures have been put in place. In January 2019 one of the first swarms reached Yemen and it became one of the first breeding grounds for the desert locusts and caused them to spread more. Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization said, he thinks, "we can assume there will be more locust outbreaks and upsurges in the Horn of Africa.” The situation was fueled by unusually heavy rains, causing a big concern in the Horn of Africa, where more than 24 million people are food insecure and 12 million people are internally displaced.  Continued low rainfall and the relative lack of greenery in north-western Kenya resulted in a progressive decline in both swarm size and overall population from June to September, resulting in reduced levels of locust maturation, which placed much of the remaining locust population in recession. A swarm even forced an Ethiopian passenger plane off course in December. 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