The International Rescue Committee explained that the swarms of locusts in East Africa are 8000 times larger than previous locusts swarms. The destruction of crops will worsen the food shortage, which many countries are already facing due to the coronavirus.
Desert locusts are known to be incredibly dangerous and devastating for the crops.
They can cause an overwhelming amount of damage in a matter of minutes. Even a locusts swarm as big as one square kilometer can feed on the same quantity of food in one day as 35,000 people.
Out of all the countries in the region, Somalia has been struggling the most with this outbreak. The country already has its fair share of problems, including violence, drought, floods, etc.
The government of Somalia was the first one to announce a national emergency when they were hard hit by the locust invasions. More than 3 million Somalian people will be affected by a food crisis unless financial and humanitarian assistance is provided to the country.
Moreover, this issue has been declared as the worst outbreak in 70 years. A member of Docol, a partner organization of IRC, explains that the swarm attack has resulted in water contamination, vast destruction of land, and pastures. People have also been forced to leave their homes and move to safer areas.
If measures are not taken to counter this problem, the outbreak will spread from East to West Africa. Currently, the IRC and Docol have stated that they do not have the resources to contain the outbreak alone unless international support is offered.
The IRC has requested the United Nations and other organizations for 2 million dollars in funding to fight against the locust crisis.
Women and girls are most at risk because of this invasion. Because of the shortage of food, prices will spike, and men will have no choice but to leave their homes to seek food and work. Since the region already has a history of violence and theft, women will be in extreme danger.
The Food and Agriculture Organization has claimed that since mid-June is the start of the harvest, a new swarm is likely to attack.