Kampala has scrambled to respond to the arrival of the biggest locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in decades, while the United Nations warned that the already vulnerable region “simply cannot afford another major shock”. An emergency government meeting, held hours after the locusts were spotted in Uganda, decided to deploy the military to help with ground-based pesticide spraying, while two planes for aerial spraying will arrive as soon as possible, a statement said. Aerial spraying is considered the only effective control. The swarms of billions of locusts have been destroying crops in Kenya, which hasn’t seen such an outbreak in 70 years, as well as Somalia and Ethiopia, which haven’t seen this in a quarter-century. The insects have exploited favourable wet conditions after unusually heavy rains and experts say climate change is expected to bring more of the same.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA