Somalia Declares National Emergencies After Worst Locust Invasion

Locusts swarms can be hundreds of miles long, leaving little vegetation behind.

The Federal Republic of Somalia has declared the Desert Locust invasion a matter of national emergency.

In a Press release, Somalia's government has termed the locust invasion a severe threat to national food security.

It was anticipated that the upsurge of the pest invasion could affect the new planting season in the country.

It states partly: "The Federal Government of Somalia is concerned about the risks desert locusts pose to the 'cropping season which starts in April.

"It is vital to contain the pests with a rapid scale-up in control operations while protecting and supporting the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists.

"Somali Minister for Agriculture Said Hussein revealed that the State was committed to protecting the Somali people through all the necessary means.

"Given the severity of the locust outbreak, we must commit our best efforts to protect the food security and livelihoods of Somali people. If we don't act now, we risk severe food crisis that we cannot afford by any means," he said.

According to Hussein, Mogadishu has put in place measures to curb the menace such as surveillance, data collection, and timely reporting and control activities.

As of December 18, 2019, Reuters reported that the locusts had wreaked havoc in the horn of Africa sweeping vegetation in about 70,000 hectares of land.

The invasion transcended borders as it spilled from Somalia into Ethiopia. Food Agriculture Organisation estimated that food destroyed in the event could feed up to around 2,500 people.

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