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Mogadishu Braces itself for A Small Enemy

In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, young desert locusts that have not yet grown wings jump in the air as they are approached, as a visiting delegation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) observes them, in the desert near Garowe, in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia. The desert locusts in this arid patch of northern Somalia look less ominous than the billion-member swarms infesting East Africa, but the hopping young locusts are the next wave in the outbreak that threatens more than 10 million people across the region with a severe hunger crisis. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

The outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, is under siege by swarms of locusts that officials fear will ruin vegetation and potentially impact tourism. The locusts arrived outside Mogadishu on Saturday in the Danvile District, devastating vegetation and pastures. Danvile administration official Abdiaziz Dahir is calling on the government to help save the impacted area, which he said is known for its scenery, pasture and tourism. Dahir said the concern is that the locust invasion will turn the entire area into arid land and impact the number of tourists who will visit the area. Although aerial spraying is considered the best way to get rid of the pesky locusts, some people are taking matters into their own hands, hoping to scare off the insects by making loud noises with kitchen utensils. The invasion of the airborne pests comes as Somalia continues to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus. According to the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Center Somalia has confirmed more than 4,200 COVID-19 cases and 107 deaths.   


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