The Afar State and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) are closely communicating each other to successfully prevent the locust invasion spreading via the main gateways of Djibouti and Somaliland borders, according to officials.
The State's Livestock Agriculture and Natural Resources Development Desert locust Prevention Bureau Expert Ayalew Shumet (Ph.D) told The Ethiopian Herald that, out of the total numbers of 34 woredas of the state, the locust has been wide spreading in more than13 woredas at an alarming rate.
According to Ayalew, the new desert locust swarm has two types; egg laying and a step to left laying an egg. It means that they simply reproduced themselves within the shortest period and it will affect many areas of the state.
Particularly, as the state is one of the lowland wheat projects and most of the resource is livestock, it needs serious attention for locust prevention so as to realize food security and grazing land.
"As the locust suddenly broke out, airplanes and helicopters are needed in the Afar state to well prevent the locust instead of manually protecting."
Ayalew further stated that the region has more than 220 experts in the lower level and 100 experts in the districts and zonal levels who are ready to foster the prevention campaign. Besides, the state has been communicating with Ministry of Agriculture to obtain airplanes and helicopters for chemical spraying.
MoA Plant Protection Director Belayneh Nigussie on his part said that the ministry has been spraying chemicals in Somalia and Oromiya states as well as deployed chemical spry vehicles for irrigation areas to prevent the locust.
It has also been ready to deploy an airplane, a helicopter, and skilled human power as well as adequate materials for combating the current pandemic, COVID-19 along with working against desert locust swarm.
Here, children and expectant women do not participate in preventing locust movement with a view to protecting them from coronavirus pandemic, he added.
Likewise, the Ministry has been carried out discussion with Somaliland through Ministry of Forging Affairs on the way how to jointly prevent the desert locust.
As to the Director, since the locust does not complete its recycle period and crops have been harvested, the locust does come up with serious risk at present. However, it does not mean that this will always happen; rather it is better to get ready for proper prevention as promptly as possible.
Some 13 airplanes are deployed for chemical spraying this year which were only 6 in number the previous year.
It was remembered that out of the total numbers of 34 woredas of Afar state, 33 woredas were seriously affected by desert locust last year, Ayalew explained.