It all began with torrential rains in the year of 2018 in the Rub’ al Khali of the Arabian Peninsula and these swarms traveled north to Iran, Pakistan, and India and south to East Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa by June 2019 and by the end of last year these swarms covered the whole sky like an umbrella in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Oman, Pakistan, India and Iran. This didn’t end here Last month another swarm appeared in South America affecting Paraguay and Argentina.
As per reports in April 2020, exertions to rheostat the locusts were being hindered due to the continuing restrictions in travel and shipping due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
Well, before I delve deep with the facts of the Locusts attack, allow me to throw in some light on what exactly they are.
Locusts are the primogenital wandering pests in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). We all reminisce grasshopper’s as kids, right? But these insects vary from the regular grasshoppers in their skill to change behavior and form swarms that can migrate over large distances. The most distressing of all locust species is the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria), according to the FAO.
The locusts, are considered to be the most dangerous pests known to our civilization and the not so good news is that, reproduce fast as to 20-fold within three months – Stats noted by the FAO experts. An adult locust can eat approximately equal to its weight and that to on a daily basis, well just a single square kilometer of the swarm contains up to 80 million adults, stated by the experts. It’s also reported that these pests can fly up to 150Km daily and they can eat as much as thirty-five thousand people in terms of weight in a single day as their need to eat is voracious. I’m sure this was something none of us knew.
Taking the research of the scientists into consideration, painting a hazy picture they have come to believe that the recent locust outbreak along the India-Pakistan border may have flared up by monsoon across the region that were longer than expected and also the frequent cyclones in the Indian Ocean could be one of the reasons according to them.
This has been the worst Locust Plague in eons that has destroyed a lot and that to on a colossal scale. This sight of outbreak was indeed a picture of wrath destroying and leaving everything bend out of shape. Kenya experience the worst outbreak of worst desert locust in 70 years as they could barely see through the millions of fluttering pests due to the thick plague. Twenty – nineteen was considered as the wettest years ever in East Africa as the torrential rains and warm temperatures aided to be the perfect environment for such an outbreak. It is also said that the influx spread through the eastern part of the continent and also the Horn of Africa razing standing crops and pastures in Somalia later sweeping into Uganda, Tanzania and so on. The real impairment, was caused in rural India where the poor farmers were already bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 persuaded lockdown as the dropped prices fetched heavy losses, all they were left to stare at the gigantic crop damages that the locust swarms were capable of perpetrating. Nobody in their wildest dream could ever imagine how rapidly these locusts could denude the entire countryside leaving all in this fear of posing a serious threat as well to herbivores in Kenya.
Amid the Corona-virus pandemic, India and Pakistan combats the invasion by the desert locusts in large swathes. As per reports in May 2020, more than two dozen districts of western India were invaded by these large and aggressive swarms of these short – horned insects. As per reports that were recorded, with deep regret it was stated that the farmers have been fighting the worst locust plague nearly in three decades being a ballpoint figure.
Statistics states that India has suffered from surfs of locust incursions over the years: to be a little accurate – 25 locust plagues and upsurges were chronicled between 1964 and 1997. The colonial government did set up a locust warning organization somewhere in 1939 in Karachi, post the series of locust attacks along which India also had set up a detached shadowing organization in 1946.
As per the UN, the recent outbreak could be traced back to 2018 – 2019 cyclone that had brought torrential rains to the Arabian Peninsula that allowed unparalleled breeding of course which did go concealed. Since then the spread had swept into South Asia and East Africa. This situation is clearly alarming as it has come at a time when we all are already reeling under Covid-19.
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