Desert Locust Hit Over 400 Hectares of Land in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region

Ethiopia’s regional communication bureau has announced the invasion of over 400 hectares of land in Taltaallee woreda of the Borana zone, Oromia region by locusts. Regional government stated that the swarm invaded Makkanniisa, Gandhiile, El-kunee, Wandoo Digre in the Woreda.

Director of monitoring and evaluation of the woreda’s farm and environmental protection bureau, Yohaned Engida said the locust invasion threatens the planned harvest and the existing vegetation.

The head of the woreda’s farm and environmental protection bureau, Birhane Amare explained that the bureau has so far sprayed insecticide on only 30 hectares out of the 400 hectares covered by the desert locust. He added that they’re currently carrying out crop-dusting using cars due to the unavailability of planes. He underlined that this will not suffice to mitigate the invasion in Woreda. Birhanu urged that immediate action be taken ahead of harvest time.

Desert locust infestation is a serious threat to food and nutrition security and means to earn a living. It destroys crops and pastures, on which the region’s economy depends. The risk of new infestations and continuous breeding could limit food and fodder availability, leading to a rise in food prices.  

After more than two years, desert locust upsurge declined in 2022. Aerial control operations against the few small immature swarms that remained in northeast Somalia ended on 4 January. Until the recent outbreak in parts of Ethiopia, no locusts were seen in Ethiopia and Kenya, and southerly migration was not detected in February and March.

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