Locust Outbreak Threatens Humanitarian Crisis in East Africa
Author: Jesica Milenia
For seven decades, East Africa never experiences a locust outbreak. Until they detected large swarms of locust in early 2020 before the coronavirus hit them. Now, they’re anticipating the second larger wave that will come from breeding grounds in Somalia. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) already warned that the “unprecedented” desert locust outbreak remains “extremely alarming,” especially in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
These locusts lay eggs in moist soil and breed during the rainy season. After the eggs hatch, they will find food in the agricultural fields. In a day, they can eat as much as 2,500 servings of human food, and now, they’re threatening the food supplies in the already vulnerable region, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Sudan.
With the reported cases of the coronavirus, the government begins to implement stringent restrictions on traveling and social gatherings. However, this makes it harder for African people to access food supplies or to exterminate the locust plague. Not to mention, the fact that this plague may not get enough attention among the pandemic.
The world must know that East Africa needs humanitarian aids to survive the food crisis amid both the locust and coronavirus outbreak.
 Nicholas Bariyo dan Joe Parkinson, “Africa Braces for a Record Wave of Locusts,” https://www.wsj.com/articles/africa-braces-for-a-record-wave-of-locusts-11588152655, accessed on May 1, 2020
 The Guardian, “Second wave of locusts in east Africa said to be 20 times worse,” https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/13/second-wave-of-locusts-in-east-africa-said-to-be-20-times-worse, accessed on April 30, 2020
 Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC, “How do you fight a locust invasion amid coronavirus,” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-52394888, accessed on April 30, 2020