Ethiopian Farmers Fight Locusts as UN Agency Warns of Worsening Situation

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has warned of worsening locust problems in East Africa, as “more swarms are forming from current breeding in Ethiopia and a new generation of laying has started in central Somalia.”

Farmers in Ethiopia have been battling successive waves of locusts since late 2019, in the worst extended infestation in 25 years, according to the FAO.

Ethiopian state media quoted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as saying 420,000 hectares of land have been devastated in 240 districts.

In its situation report, the FAO said breeding was “underway on the Red Sea coastal plains,” meaning “additional swarm migrations and further increases in locust numbers can be expected.”

It added, however, that the region was better prepared than at the same time last year.

On October 19, China donated 72 tons of pesticides, 2,000 hand-held sprayers, and 20,000 personal protective gears to help Ethiopia in its locust-control operations. Credit: Getachew Aregawi via Storyful