Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Africa

Locusts

The for the past couple of weeks I have been reading news reports on swams of locust moving across north and west Africa – Mauritania, northern Senegal, Mali, Niger and most recently Chad.  They will quite likely reach the Darfur region of Sudan next.

Some very scarry facts about this particular Locust 

* The desert locust is the single most destructive insect. It is native to Africa, the Middle East and western Asia. A locust measures only 4.5-6cm long and weighs 2 grams but manages to eat its own weight in food every day.

* If an area is unable to support localised populations of locusts they will gather into a single mass, or swarm. This is often precipitated by favourable breeding conditions, which lead to over-crowding and scarcity of food.

* Locust swarms vary from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres. In each square kilometre there can be between 40-80 million locusts. Swarms can travel 130 kilometres or more per day.

* A fraction of a swarm can eat the same amount in a day as 10 elephants, 25 camels or about 2,500 people, experts say, destroying subsistence crops such as sorghum and millet as well as money earners like water melons and groundnuts.

* Large locust swarms, or plagues, develop intermittently. In the last century, plagues occurred in 1926-34, 1940-48, 1949-63, 1967-69 and 1986-89.

Reports are saying that nearly a million people in West Africa face famine unless they get aid to fight the swams of locusts which are eating crops. 

The world food programme warned about the possibilty of a plague of locusts in W. AFrica as early as October last year but as usual no one took any notice.

1 Comment

  1. Horrible creatures. I was watching one such scary atack in Algeria on TV.

    I wonder whether the plague is associated with draught and some other factors. More research is needed to find ways to prevent these.

    Its time people and media should notice the critical concerns in time so that somethinf can be done against these kind of threat. And all these if anybody cares.