Locust Swarms Continue To Impact East Africa, Threatening Food Security; Response Complicated By COVID-19

Al Jazeera: Uganda faces food shortage as coronavirus disrupts locust fight
“Farmers in Uganda are bracing for a fresh onslaught of desert locusts after two swarms entered the country from neighboring Kenya last week, threatening to destroy crops and intensify hunger amid the struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Countries across East Africa are battling the worst locust outbreak in decades, with the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warning on Wednesday that the situation remained ‘extremely alarming’ as hopper bands and an increasing number of new swarms form in parts of the region. … The fight against the ravaging pests has been complicated by flight bans imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The restrictions have significantly delayed deliveries of pesticides in countries across the region…” (Okiror, 4/9).

Additional coverage of locust swarms in Africa and implications for food security is available from AP, Bloomberg, and U.N. News.