Food Insecurity – Locust Plague



FAO/Giampiero Diana
A swarm of desert locusts fill the sky near a farm.

On February 3rd, I posted a blog entitled “Worst Desert Locust Outbreak in 25 Years”. Since then the area suffering from this almost biblical plague, has increased dramatically and is showing signs of continuing to spread.  A spread that will only grow as the next generation of the Locust hatch and take flight. As the “East African” states:

Second wave of locust invasion to hit in two months

It does not look good for some of the most food insecure areas of the World and now throw in a World panicing over the Covid19 coronovirus and it does look like it is becoming almost biblical in nature. Add all of the political turmoil and wars in these areas to the mix and we are looking at a disaster.

Locust Plague – Page begun 03/04/20 – East Africa and Westward

UN urges rapid measures as desert locusts invade Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia – Xinhua | – posted 01/27/20

Kenya suffers worst locust invasion in 70 years, FAO warns infestation may worsen – posted 01/30/20

Worst desert locust outbreak in 25 years threatens food security across East Africa: UN – Xinhua | – posted 01/31/20

Locust outbreak approaches full blown crisis in East Africa – posted 02/02/20

Uganda to deploy soldiers to tackle locust invasion – The East African – posted 02/10/20

Act now to prevent Desert Locust catastrophe in Horn of Africa: UN agencies | UN News – posted 02/10/20

Uganda approves $1.8m in efforts to fight locust invasion – The East African – posted 02/12/20

239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from hunger and malnutrition – posted 02/15/20

Second wave of locust invasion to hit in two months – The East African – posted 02/17/20

Asia Album: Locusts swarming raises concerns in Pakistan – Xinhua | – posted 02/17/20

Locusts swarm into South Sudan as plague spreads – Reuters – posted 02/18/20

Nothing left’: Kenyan mother’s fields stripped by locust swarm | The Star Online – posted 02/19/20

South China may be invaded by locusts | The Star Online – posted 02/20/20

Massive swarms of locusts invade Saudi Arabia – posted 02/22/20

East Africa’s huge locust outbreak now spreads to Congo – posted 02/25/20

More funding needed to combat locust swarms ‘unprecedented in modern times’ | UN News – posted 02/25/20

Army of 100,000 Chinese ducks on standby to combat locust swarms, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times – posted 02/27/20

Locust hatchlings in Kenya pose threat to crops – The East African – posted 02/29/20

China urges authorities to prepare for possible locust invasion – Reuters – posted 03/03/20

Pakistan struggles to combat devastating locust plague, South Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times – posted 03/04/20

The Big Wobble : Desert Locust update: New swarms forming in Somalia and Kenya: Swarms hitting 20 countries spanning thousands of miles from the Western border of China to the Western coast of Africa Down the Horn of Africa to Tanzania – posted 03/06/20

Ethiopian govt calls for international support to contain “very severe” desert locust outbreak – The East African – posted 03/06/20


A man in Baringo Central in Kenya’s Rift Valley on February 23, 2019 chases away a swarm of desert locusts that invaded the area. PHOTO | FLORAH KOECH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Desert Locust situation update – 10 March 2020 – Kenya | ReliefWeb – posted 03/12/20


Desert Locust situation update 17 March 2020 – posted 03/18/20

The Big Wobble : Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Southwest Asia after widespread rains leading to a dramatic increase in locust numbers: Millions suffer acute food insecurity – posted 04/10/20

Locusts set to hit Kenya, East Africa again, 400 times stronger — Quartz Africa – posted 04/10/20

‘Unprecedented threat’: New locust outbreak threatens millions in eastern Africa – posted 04/12/20

New, larger wave of locusts threatens millions in Africa – posted 04/12/20

The Big Wobble : While the eyes of the world are on Covid-19, East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Southwest Asia and Pakistan continues to struggle with another crisis of biblical proportions: Growing mega-swarms of ravenous locusts. – posted 04/17/20

Second wave of two new generations of locusts will leave EA starving, warns FAO – The East African – posted 04/18/20

Somalia races to save livelihoods as new locust generation spawns – Thomas Reuter Foundation – posted 04/20/20


Second wave of locust invasion and floods to shake East Africa economies – The East Africanposted 05/02/20

Second and unprecedented wave of locust invasion expected to hit Pakistan – The Watchersposted 05/08/20

Battle ‘not yet over’ against locust invasions in East Africa and Yemen | | UN Newsposted 05/11/20

Pakistan readies for second battle against crop-devouring locusts – Thomas Reuter Foundation posted 05/16/20


Locusts cover a tree in Bhadi, a village in Umerkot-Sindh, Pakistan, November 7, 2019. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Manoj Genani

Fighting locusts in the heat of Covid-19 pandemic – The East Africanposted 05/18/20


National Youth Service personnel spray locusts in Marsabit County, northern Kenya, on May 10, 2020. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Haryana issues alert after locust swarms enter Rewari, Gurugram districts | Business Standard News – posted 06/27/20

Locusts invade satellite city of India’s capital, South Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Timesposted 06/27/20

The Big Wobble : Locust swarm reaches Nepal: East African swarms charging West: Swarms from Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are expected to migrate westwards through Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali and Mauritania – posted 07/05/20

Desert Locust situation update 3 August 2020 – FAOLocustposted 08/03/20

Titanic swarms of migratory locusts have put 7 million people in the southern region of Africa at risk of famine: The ravenous insects are distinct from the desert locust, which have devastated crops in the Horn of Africa, The Middle East, Arabia, India and Pakistan – Big Wobbleposted 09/08/20

Migratory locusts, not to be confused with the larger desert locust. Credit Wikipedia

RSOE EDIS – Biological Hazard event in Zambezi Region, Namibia on September 22 2020 01:21 PM

The country needs an estimated amount of N$30 million for resources to deal with the locust outbreak in the northeast Zambezi region, The Agriculture Minister, Calle Schlettwein said last week as he provided an update on the African Migratory red locust in parliament yesterday. The outbreak of the African migratory red locust was reported on 12 August and since then, daily reports have been coming in, said Schlettwein. This is the second outbreak in the Zambezi region this year following the first one in February 2020. A total area of 4,002 square km has been invaded and 500 hectares of grazing destroyed by the locust so far, he said. The minister said Namibia needs funds for more resources in terms of manpower, fleet, equipment, personnel protective equipments and other resources to effectively combat the outbreak. “Following the reports on the locust outbreak, a spraying team of 35 staff members that are trained in methods to combat outbreaks from different agricultural development centers across the country has been deployed,”Schlettwein added.
Even though ground and aerial control operations continued during September against swarms in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, the situation remains worrisome. Substantial hatching and hopper band formation caused numerous immature swarms to form in northeast Ethiopia. Hopper bands and swarms continued to form in Yemen, and some swarms started to move to the southern coast. An increasing number of swarms were reported in northern Somalia. As prevailing winds coming from the north become established over the Horn of Africa, there will be an increased threat of swarm migration from Yemen, northeast Ethiopia and northern Somalia south to eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia in October that could extend to northern Kenya in November. Other swarms were present in Eritrea, some of which moved to eastern Sudan and laid eggs. Additional swarms could arrive from Ethiopia. Winter breeding by swarms started several months earlier than normal along the Red Sea coast, which could allow an extra generation of breeding this season and cause substantial increases in locusts. Hopper bands formed on the coast in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and groups in Eritrea. In southwest Asia, the upsurge ended, and only small residual infestations remained in Pakistan. In West Africa, small-scale breeding occurred in the northern Sahel, but locust numbers remained very low. Although locusts may concentrate and breed in northwest Mauritania in the coming months, no significant developments are expected.

RSOE EDIS – Biological Hazard event in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions, Ethiopia on October 11 2020 06:29 PM

Desert locusts are destroying tens of thousands of acres of crops and grazing land in north east Ethiopia in the worst invasion in 25 years, an official has saidThe infestation has spreaded in parts Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions and Dire Dawa City Administration, among other areas of the country, the country’s Minister of Agriculture Oumer Hussien said on Saturday in a briefing. The country is stepping up aerial spraying and implementing other protective measures to curtail the spread of the grasshoppers to other places, Hussien said. Shortage of spray planes is impeding the fight against the swarms as two planes went down while spraying pesticides on lands affected by the disaster. The Ministry is screening out farmers who have been affected by the locust swarms in order to support them accordingly, the Minister noted. The Agriculture Minister called up on the private sector to contribute its share in the fight against the locust swarms that has posed a threat to the food security in the country. Meanwhile, two pesticide-spraying aircraft have crashed in Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state where the locust hit the worst. No casualty was reported but the helicopters’ pilots suffered minor injuries.The cause of the accidents are under investigation.

Desert Locust situation update 20 November 2020 (

New locust outbreak hits Southern Africa, 45 million people at risk of food shortage – The Watchersposted 11/04/20

Ethiopia battles worst locust plague in 25 years – The Watchers posted 11/10/20

Ethiopia battles worst locust plague in 25 years

The authorities identified the insect to be yellow-spined bamboo locust, a species of grasshoppers that inhabits in southeastern Asia. The picture shows the bamboo-feeding insect
The authorities identified the insect to be yellow-spined bamboo locust, a species of grasshoppers that inhabits in southeastern Asia. The picture shows the bamboo-feeding insect

Early warning information on the disaster prevention and control of bamboo locusts in Yellow Ridge, Pu’er City – Pu’er Department of Forestry posted 07/09/20

Locust plague heads towards China: Country faces ‘DISASTER’ between now and September with the insects already invading southern city, officials warn – Daily Mail posted 07/10/20

The Big Wobble : China is the latest country to join the ever-growing list of countries being devastated by locust invasions stretching 3 continents including: South America, Africa the Middle East, Arabia, Indo Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar all struggling to control trillions of locusts. – posted 07/11/20

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